Chart axis may be four years early after you format scale in Excel for Mac

This article was previously published under Q274277
This article has been archived. It is offered "as is" and will no longer be updated.
Symptoms
When you format an axis in a chart by using a time scale, the axis maybegin and end four years too early.

For example, if you want the axis to start at year 1990 and end at year 1999, it may actually start at year 1986 and end in year 1995.
Cause
This problem may occur if the following conditions are true:
  • You type a serial date value in the Minimum or Maximum box on the Scale tab in the Format Axis dialog box.

    -and-
  • You are using the 1904 Date System in Microsoft Excel for Mac. To use the 1904 Date System, follow these steps:
    1. On the Edit menu (or Excel menu in Microsoft Excel X for Mac), click Preferences.
    2. Click the Calculation tab.
    3. Click to select the 1904 date system check box. Click OK.
The dates in the Minimum and Maximum boxes are 1986 and 1995,not 1990 and 1999 as expected. If you reenter the dates as 3/31/1990 and3/31/1999, the axis scale appears correctly.

NOTE: This problem does not occur when Excel for Mac uses the 1900 Date System; however, Excel for Mac uses the 1904 Date System by default. Specifically, the problem occurs because Excel for Mac uses the 1904 Date System for the serial date values that you type in the Minimum and Maximum boxes.
Workaround
To work around this problem, do not type serial date values in theMinimum and Maximum boxes on the Scale tab of the Format Axis dialog box. Instead, type the dates as you would normally type them in a worksheet. For example, use the formats in the following table:
   Example            Note   -------------------------------------------------------------------   1/10/1998          Month-day-year order   31/3/1998          Day-month-year order; for most non-United States                      locales   October 13, 1998   Fully spelled date   16 October 1998    Fully spelled date				
Status
Microsoft has confirmed that this is a problem in the Microsoft products that are listed at the beginning of this article.
MacXLX Mac XLX XL2001 XL98
Properties

Article ID: 274277 - Last Review: 11/02/2013 17:29:00 - Revision: 4.0

  • Microsoft Excel 2004 for Mac
  • Microsoft Excel X for Mac
  • Microsoft Excel 2001 for Mac
  • Microsoft Excel 98 for Macintosh
  • kbnosurvey kbarchive dftsdahomeportal kbfix kbprb KB274277
Feedback