How to Convert Text to Date in Excel

Dates play an important role when we need to analyze trends.

This is one of the most important things which you need to capture in a right way.

Apart from basic date format which is used by Excel to store dates.

Apart from basic date format which is used by Excel to store dates. There are some other date formats which are acceptable.

Now the thing is:

When we capture a date in a wrong format Excel treats that date as a text and, then we can’t use that date further in any calculation.

When is comes to textual date formats there is no one particular thing. It depends on the person who is entering those dates.

The bottom line is:

We do need some methods which we can use to convert a text to an actual date with a right format.

So today, in this post, I’d like to share with you 10 methods which we can use to convert a text to date format in Excel. For converting a text to date we need to use a combination of different functions.

So let’s get started.

1. Use DATEVALUE Function To Convert a Text to Date

Using the DATEVALUE function is a basic method to convert a date into an actual date which is stored as a text.

Let’s say you have a list of dates in your worksheet and all the cells where dates are entered have text format but all those dates are in the correct date format.

In the below example, we have a date in a cell but when I trying to add a number into that date I’m getting an error, even that the format of the date is correct.

Excel datevalue function to convert text to date

But if you look at the cell format, it’s text.

So here, the best way to use DATEVALUE function. You just need to refer that cell in the function and it will convert that date into an actual date.

convert text to date list with datevalue function

And, then you can change it’s format to a date.

Important Note

There are some situations where DATEVALUE can’t help us to get a date from a text. There are n number of irregular formats of dates and to deal with all those we need to create a custom formula using different functions. In next 10 examples, I will share with you how can we use these different functions.

text to date list

2. Date with Back Slashes

Excel date system support a date with the forward slashes. And, if we have a date where we have backslashes, it will treat it as a text.

convert text to date with black slashes invalid

To solve this problem we can use below formula.

=DATE(RIGHT(A2,4),MID(A2,4,2),LEFT(A2,2))

convert text to date with black slashes

3. Date with Month Name

Now, we have a date format where the month is entered with its name. For Excel, this is not a date anymore, even it’s presenting a date clearly.

convert text to date with month name full

Below formula can help us in this.

=DATEVALUE(RIGHT(A3,2)&"-"&TEXT(MID(A3,6,3),"MMM")&"-"&LEFT(A3,4))

convert text to date with month name full formula

4. Date with Dots

It’s a common kind you problem where we get dots inside a date. This is a kind format used by people who are not aware that this not a proper date format.

And, this the formula to correct it.

=DATE(RIGHT(A4,4),MID(A4,4,2),LEFT(A4,2))

5. Date with the Month Name and a Comma

This format is almost same as the format we have discussed in point 3.

And, we can correct it with below formula.

=DATEVALUE(LEFT(A5,2)&"-"&TEXT(MID(A5,4,3),"MMM")&"-"&RIGHT(A5,4))

6. Date with the Day Name

Sometimes people stores a date with the day name. And, if that date is not in a proper format Excel will treat it as a text.

Use this formula for this type to text date.

=DATEVALUE(MID(A6,FIND(",",A6)+6,2)&"-"&MID(A6,FIND(",",A6)+2,3)&"-"&RIGHT(A6,4))

7. Date with a Day Name in the End

Here we have a date with the day name in the end. Now, the problem with this format is it has a comma between date and day name.

But, we can get the valid date using below formula.

=DATEVALUE(MID(A7,10,2)&"-"&MID(A7,6,3)&"-"&LEFT(A7,4))

8. Date Having a Suffix with Day

We have a “th” suffix with the day number and it makes it a text instead of a date as Excel is not able to recognize it.

Below formula will help you to get the real date.

=DATEVALUE(LEFT(A8,FIND("th",A8)-1)&"-"&MID(A8,FIND(" ",A8)+1,3)&"-"&RIGHT(A8,4))

9. Date with Space Between Day, Month and Year

When we have a date format with space between day, month and year, we can use below formula to correct the date format.

=DATE(RIGHT(A9,4),MID(A9,4,2),LEFT(A9,2))

10. Date with Short Month Name

With a date format where we have a short month name in the starting of the date.

We can use the following formula to convert it to a valid date format.

=DATEVALUE(MID(A10,5,2)&"-"&LEFT(A10,3)&"-"&RIGHT(A10,4))

11. Date Without Any Space Between Day, Month and Year

And for a date where there is no space between day, month, and year.

Below formula will help us to get correct date format.

=DATE(RIGHT(A11,2),MID(A11,3,2),LEFT(A11,2))

About the Author

Puneet Gogia

He is using Excel since his college days. He helped thousands of people to understand the power of the spreadsheets and learn Microsoft Excel. You can find him online, tweeting about Excel, on a running track, or sometimes hiking up a mountain.

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  1. I create a column of 1’s and then use copy / paste special / multiply to convert text to a real date.

  2. Dear all,

    Does anyone know how to solve the problem of converting or formatting the long date (NOT a date format) to date format? I tried using text-to-column but it doesn’t help. I also tried applying your given formula as below, but this is good for 2-digit day e.g. Tuesday, Dec 16, 2015. What about for single-digit day e.g. Monday, Mar 4, 2019? I could just change the “…+6,2 to …+6,1 or….+5,2” but I can only use 1 formula in the same column which contains many dates. Sorry, I am seeking for help as I am very new to excel. I guess somewhere within the formula below I could add in something but don’t know how. Thank you!

    =DATEVALUE(MID(A6,FIND(“,”,A6)+6,2)&”-“&MID(A6,FIND(“,”,A6)+2,3)&”-“&RIGHT(A6,4))

  3. Hi,
    I tried to copy your formula on Point-6 regarding Date with Day Name. However, this seems to work only for 2-digit day. As a file I received contains text format date with combination of single and double digit day. Could you pls advise how to include 1-digit day? e.g. Friday, Mar 8, 2019

    =DATEVALUE(MID(A6,FIND(“,”,A6)+6,2)&”-“&MID(A6,FIND(“,”,A6)+2,3)&”-“&RIGHT(A6,4))

    Thank you in advance!!

  4. My favourite method for getting excel to recognize a date is found within the Text to Column function. If you click through delimited, etc you can then choose ‘Date’ and tell excel to recognize the numbers as a date. Especially useful if you get data with all of the dates in D/M/Y as if you choose that, excel will recognize the first number as the day, and then the dates will be in appropriate M/D/Y structure.

  5. Selecting problem dates (using the wrong symbol such as or . as a separator) and using Text to Columns (on the Data tab) will often sort out date problems.
    In the first step, choose delimited, in the next step choose a symbol that’s not being used in the date, in the third step choose Date and the order of day, month, year for your dates. Change the destination if you don’t want to overwrite the original entries and click Finish