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Thankful for 20 Years of MrExcel on November 21

November 20, 2018 - by Bill Jelen

Thankful for 20 Years of MrExcel on November 21 debuted on November 21, 1998 when Bill Jelen answered a question about how to convert daily dates to monthly dates in Excel.

Kevin wrote:

I want to use a pivot table to summarize dates, but I want to see it at the month level instead of at the daily level. I tried simply formatting the date column to display a month, but the pivot table still breaks the data out by day.

My answer that day involved using a formula of =A2-DAY(A2)+1. Here is a screenshot of that first answer:

Screenshot of first MrExcel answer
Screenshot of first MrExcel answer

Sitting here today, twenty years later, I wonder why I did not use =EOMONTH(A2,-1)+1 or even use the Group Field solution in a pivot table to roll daily dates up to months and years.

The old MrExcel logo with stylized text lasted until 2002 when our current logo was invented.

Also: It was John "Mr Spreadsheet" Walkenbach who suggested I get rid of the annoying Excel grid in the background... "I would spend more time at your site, except for the annoying grid behind the words!".

Back in November 1998, I was working in an accounting department in Akron, Ohio. My plan was to get up every day at 5 AM, answer Excel questions from 5AM to 6AM, then head in to work. After six months, I was getting more questions than I could answer in an hour, so I launched the original MrExcel Message board using a script from Matt’s Script Archive (WWWBoard). People could post their questions to the board, and other volunteers could answer. I remember the day when I had backed myself into a corner in Excel, posted a question to my own board, and an hour later, Ivan Moala from New Zealand had posted an amazing answer. That was the day I realized how valuable of a resource could be.

Today, the Message Board has over a million questions with 5 million posts created by over 400,000 members. There are over 600,000 pages indexed by Google and we get about 2 million hits each month. Managing the board is a full-time gig for our awesome database administrator Suat Ozgur. Tracy Syrstad and the moderators have been keeping people in line at the board since almost the beginning. I am thankful to everyone who visits MrExcel, whether to ask a question or to answer thousands of questions.

Special Offers for 20th Anniversary Week & Black Friday

Offer 1:

Great Deals on Excel e-Books for Anywhere in the World:

Here is your chance to stock up on Excel e-books offered from our e-Junkie store. The more you buy, the more you save. Shop at: and use any of the following promo codes:

Buy Use Promo Code Save
1 e-book20Years20%
2 e-books20Years230%
3 e-books20Years340%
4+ e-books20Years450%

For example, if you select four e-books at $10 each, your total will be $40 and you will save 50% on all four books using promo code 20Years4. That is four e-books for just twenty bucks! There are 20 books to choose from, covering Excel to PowerPivot to Power Query to DAX. This promo will run from November 19 2018 through the end of 2018.

Please be careful to purchase all of the books in one transaction to maximize your discount. The shopping cart definitely is not smart enough to realize you just bought four books and want to buy a fifth book in a second transaction.

Offer 2:

Three Excel Books Shipped Anywhere in the USA for $20

Our popular Garage Sale overstock sale is on again. I do 35 live seminars a year where everyone gets a book. My warehouse loves to ship full cases of books, so I always ship more books than I need and then send the extra books back to the office. By the end of the year, the shelves in the garage are full and MrsExcel says they need to go. This year, I will offer three books (my choice) via media mail shipping to anywhere in the USA for $20. This is likely five pounds of Excel books, so the shipping works out to $4.70 so you are essentially getting three books for about five bucks each. This promo will run from November 19, 2018 until we run out of books in the garage.

Offer 3:

I ♥ Excel sticker and 20th Anniversary Patch

For the Excel geek, I will send you one of my MrExcel 20th Anniversary iron-on patches and a 3" round I ♥ Excel sticker. For Excel fans in the United States: Send a Self-Addressed Stamped Envelope to:

20 Years of MrExcel!
1075 Molaki Drive,
Merritt Island FL 32953

If you are outside of the United States, send me a picture postcard from your country with an interesting postage stamp. Tell me where to send the swag and I will pay for shipping. (I will use the picture postcards in a future MrExcel Podcast to show how far and wide the reach of the MrExcel community stretches). Send the postcard to:

Bill Jelen
1075 Molaki Drive
Merritt Island FL 32953

I have 500 stickers and 400 patches available. This offer is good for items postmarked through November 30, 2018 or until supplies run out.

I ♥ Excel sticker
I ♥ Excel sticker 20th Anniversary 20th Anniversary

Title Photo: Adi Goldstein on Unsplash

Bill Jelen is the author / co-author of
Excel Insights – A Microsoft MVP Guide to the Best Parts of Excel

There are fewer than 100 Excel MVPs worldwide. 24 of them have contributed to this book. Written, edited, reviewed and printed by Excel MVPs, this is practical Excel passion undiluted, with each MVP highlighting some of their favorite topics.