yyyy mm dd

When you’re talking about formatting dates, you’ve got lớn lead with this xdcd comic:

xkcd comic on date format

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Excel does crazy things with dates. It stores them internally as an integer, counting the days since 1900-01-01. Wait that’s only for Windows; on Macs, it counts the days since 1904-01-01.

So, be careful lớn kiểm tra that the dates haven’t been mangled when your data come out of Excel.

Excel also has a tendency lớn turn other things into dates:

first oct-4 tweet

second oct-4 tweet

Personally, I’d be inclined lớn use a plain text format for columns in an Excel worksheet that are going lớn contain dates, ví that it doesn’t bởi anything lớn them:

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  • Select the column
  • In the thực đơn bar, select Format → Cells
  • Choose “Text” on the left

Alternatively, you could create three separate columns with year, month, and day. Those will be ordinary integers, and so Excel won’t mess them up.

But really what I wanted lớn emphasize here: be consistent in the way in which you write dates. And really, always use the YYYY-MM-DD format, as in the xkcd comic, above (or put the year, month, and day in separate columns, if you want).

I have an old Excel spreadsheet in front of mạ that looks a bit like this:

38.6 1/11/2006 8 46.1 1/11/2006 7 52.9 e 6 45.7 e 5 47 e 12/6/2005 4 45.3 12/9/05 3 54.9 12/9/05 2 Weight Assay date Date 1 C B A

I don’t quite remember what those e’s were for, but having different date formats within a column can cause headaches later.

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Use care about dates, and be consistent.

Next up: Fill in all of the cells.

(Previous: Be consistent.)