Tom’s Tutorials For Excel: Formatting a Date With Text

Tom’s Tutorials For Excel: Formatting a Date With Text

Here’s how you can enter a date in a cell, and apply a custom date format to make the cell look as if it contains text. You can use that date in math functions elsewhere, as shown below.

In the first picture, today’s date of September 18, 2012 exists in cell A1 with the function

Right-click the cell and left-click to select Format Cells.

In the Format Cells dialog, on the Number tab, select Custom from the Categories list. In the Type field, enter the custom format "Today is "dddd and click OK.

Here is what cell A1 looks like, but notice in the formula bar that the function remains unchanged. Formatting a cell only changes its appearance, but not its underlying actual value. Looks can be deceiving — cell A1 still only contains a date without actual text.

Here’s a quick example to show that you can perform date math involving the date in cell A1, regardless of its custom format. In cell C1 is a formula that adds 3 months to the date in cell A1.

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