Changing column format without changing appearance

Stourton

New Member
Joined
Aug 19, 2015
Messages
3
I use Office 2007 on Windows 7.
I'm sorry if this question has been asked before, I've searched and couldn't find anything.
I have a column with entries like "May-02" or even "May-74". These are references to purchase invoices. they are not dates. However, Excel has interpreted it as a custom format "mmm-yy".
I would like to change the format of the column to text. If I simple change the format e.g. change "May-03" to text the result is "37742". I want it still to be "May-03" but now text.
Is there any way of doing this? I've spent ages looking on the Web but with no answer.
Thank you
 

Fishboy

Well-known Member
Joined
Feb 13, 2015
Messages
4,261
I use Office 2007 on Windows 7.
I'm sorry if this question has been asked before, I've searched and couldn't find anything.
I have a column with entries like "May-02" or even "May-74". These are references to purchase invoices. they are not dates. However, Excel has interpreted it as a custom format "mmm-yy".
I would like to change the format of the column to text. If I simple change the format e.g. change "May-03" to text the result is "37742". I want it still to be "May-03" but now text.
Is there any way of doing this? I've spent ages looking on the Web but with no answer.
Thank you
Hi Stourton, welcome to the boards.

After a quick test at my end, here's what I did:

1. Copy the column you want to change, and paste it into notepad.
2. Select the column in Excel and change the format to text.
3. Select and copy that data back from notepad, right click on the column and click the big A paste icon to paste text only. This should keep the text as it was, but the format of the cells are now text.
4. Moving forward, and new entries into this column will also be considered text from the change of format.

Hope this helps and saves you some time.
 

Stourton

New Member
Joined
Aug 19, 2015
Messages
3
Hi Stourton, welcome to the boards.

After a quick test at my end, here's what I did:

1. Copy the column you want to change, and paste it into notepad.
2. Select the column in Excel and change the format to text.
3. Select and copy that data back from notepad, right click on the column and click the big A paste icon to paste text only. This should keep the text as it was, but the format of the cells are now text.
4. Moving forward, and new entries into this column will also be considered text from the change of format.

Hope this helps and saves you some time.
Brilliant, so simple. I'm very grateful Fishboy. you have certainly saved me a lot of time.
 

Fishboy

Well-known Member
Joined
Feb 13, 2015
Messages
4,261
No problem, happy to help.

Feel free to click the Like button to help others with a similar issue find the right answer.

Cheers.
 

Stourton

New Member
Joined
Aug 19, 2015
Messages
3
Unfortunately I spoke too soon. Maybe there's a simple solution to this as well.
Sorry, between the last sentence and this I found a solution. I'm actually using a .csv file exported from an accountancy program. After changing the column format as you suggested I saved the job. I loaded it again and it brought back the old custom formatting. I presume Excel "recognised" it as a date.
I then tried saving in .xlsx and the text format is still there. So I'll work on the .xlsx, convert back to .csv and re-import into the accounts program.
Brilliant forum, my experience with many other forums has sometimes been disappointing. One often gets replies from folk who really don't know.
Thanks again.
 

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