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: Changing Excel's Starting Date.
by Allen Wyatt
(last updated December 9, 2017)
Excel allows you to choose which arbitrary date you use as the beginning point for serial numbers. In the PC world, this date is January 1, 1900. If you are working with Excel workbooks imported from the Macintosh environment, however, you will want to set the starting date to January 2, 1904—the date used on the Mac.
To set which of these two dates is used, follow these steps:
Figure 1. The Calculation tab of the Options dialog box.
ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (2413) 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: Changing Excel's Starting Date.
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Got a version of Excel that uses the menu interface (Excel 97, Excel 2000, Excel 2002, or Excel 2003)? This site is for you! If you use a later version of Excel, visit our ExcelTips site focusing on the ribbon interface.