Select the product you need help with
- Internet Explorer
- Windows Phone
- More products
Dates and times displayed as serial numbers when viewing formulas in Excel
Article ID: 241072 - View products that this article applies to.
This article was previously published under Q241072
Microsoft Excel displays serial number values for dates and times in cells, but shows formatted dates and times in the formula bar.
This behavior occurs when you are viewing your worksheet as formulas rather than values.
To display formatted dates and times in the cells on the worksheet:
The Formulas check box is used to view formulas in the cells on the worksheet, as well as in the formula bar.
How Microsoft Excel Stores Dates and TimesMicrosoft Excel stores dates as sequential numbers known as serial values. Excel stores times as decimal fractions because time is considered a portion of a day. Dates and times are values and so you can add, subtract, and include dates and times in other calculations. For example, to determine the difference between two dates, you can subtract one date from the other. You can view a date as a serial value and a time as a decimal fraction by changing the format of the cell that contains the date or time to General format.
Article ID: 241072 - Last Review: September 18, 2011 - Revision: 4.0