Excel Spreadsheet: How can I turn off the autoformatting of dates?

I’ve used Excel 2007 many times for simple spreadsheets but none of its advanced features. Here’s what I’m trying to do:

I’m doing an inventory of magazines where I work. It’s important that the magazines on the spreadsheet all have the same date that’s on the magazine, and magazines print their dates differently. So for example, let’s say you have magazines from February 2009 that do their dates as follows:

MAGAZINE 1 February 2009
MAGAZINE 2 February 8th, 2009
MAGAZINE 3 12 February '09
MAGAZINE 4 Feb 15 2009

The Excel spreadsheet wants to make them read

MAGAZINE 1 02/01/09
MAGAZINE 2 02/08/09
MAGAZINE 3 02/12/09
MAGAZINE 4 02/15/09

I’ve found how to change the format (for example if I wanted them to read DD/MO/YR instead of MM/DD/YR) but not how to make them just leave it alone. Anyone know how to do this? (I’m sure it’s very easy, but I just can’t figure it out.)


Right Click–>Format Cells–>Number–>Text

That did it. Big thanks!

MAGAZINE 4 Feb 15 2009

Is the above all in one cell?

Or is MAGAZINE 4 in one cell, and Feb 15 2009 in the next cell?

FYI, if you start an entry with a single quotation mark it converts it to text. example: '2008 will read as text. In your case all the entries should be in the same column so formating would be the quickest.

Also, be sure you don’t need to do any calculations using these dates. If Excel is treating them as text, you won’t be able to add or subtract them from other dates or the like.