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Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Excel 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Excel, click here: Specifying a Language for the TEXT Function.
Mikael uses a Danish version of Excel. If he uses the TEXT function to format dates, as in TEXT(A1,"mmmm, yyyy"), the textual format returned shows the months in Danish. He would like the months returned in English instead, and wonders how he can instruct the TEXT function as to which language it should use.
There are a couple of ways you can approach this problem. The first is applicable if you simply need to display a date (and nothing else) in a cell—simply don't use the TEXT function. You can easily format a cell to display a date in any language; follow these steps:
Figure 1. The Number tab of the Format Cells dialog box.
If you are using the TEXT worksheet function because it is part of a larger formula, then you can instruct the function itself to use a different language for its output. You do this by including a language code (formally called an LCID) within brackets, in this manner:
Note that the bracketed code is within the format string, and the code itself is preceded by a dollar sign and a dash. The code is either three or four hexadecimal digits. (Actually, all LCIDs can be expressed in four hexadecimal digits, but if the leading digit is a zero, you don't need to include it.) The example, above, shows how to express results in English, but you can pick any of a wide range of countries:
The inclusion of a language specifier code in your TEXT format will work in at least Excel 2002 and Excel 2003. It may work in earlier versions, as well, but hasn't been tested.
ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (3299) applies to Microsoft Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Excel (Excel 2007 and later) here: Specifying a Language for the TEXT Function.
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