Allow us to turn off automatic conversion to date
Search for "make excel stop converting numbers to dates" and you will see the user demand for this feature. Please for the love of all that is holy let this be at least an advanced user setting.
Thanks for the suggestion Jessica. We’ve got a few other suggestions on the site that are similar with scientific notation, etc. We’ll take a look at this area, and pay special attention to any cases that get a lot of votes. So please keep the votes coming to help us do a good job at prioritizing asks like this!
John [MS XL]
Excel needs to provide a setting to allow users to prevent Excel from changing number and text data fields to "Date" data format when importing data. THIS IS INCREDIBLY AGGRAVATING. Once Excel incorrectly changes something in my .csv file to a date, I can no longer recover the number or text that it was supposed to be, and I must re-export the file from the database. It is absolutely unacceptable for excel to change my data, especially without giving a warning or providing a preferences setting that I can disable. Yet another example of how excel is a piece of sh*t program.
Maybe adopt the way how google spreadsheets is dealing with csv files. They simply ask, if you want to format numbers, or leave them as they are. Can't tell you how annoying it is, when e.g. amounts, get formated to date with no way of returning to the original number again. I switched to google spreadsheets for importing .csv files and download them afterwards, cause it works and doesn't destroy the data.
Cynthia Vied commented
Marc2 is the name of a gene not a date. When there is a list of 30,000 genes this is very inconvenient. Also, March2 is a gene so now Marc2 and March2 become the same thing (2-Mar) in this large list.
Please. My data hurts so bad.
This behaviour causes a lot of irritation and mistakes when working with datasets especially scientific ones. Pre-formatting is a terrible workaround.
Datasets are riddled with errors because of this as you can see in this publication:
This option would save a lot of frustration, should be very easy to implement and every other spreadsheet application has it already.
I don't see why Microsoft refuses to implement this even though it has been asked for many times.
@noLongerAnon: the problem was, being anonymous means you didn't vote. that was all.
@Roy: i've never been good at accepting training, especially of the Pavlovian style. i'm already using Gdocs whenever i run into this issue. it's just hard for those situations where no internet is available.
@Mr. Dent: see Roy's comments.
yes i realize i'm playing both sides of the fence. it's how to survive in a world where companies don't care about our needs.
not Anonymous commented
@anonyzak no clue why that display name was in my profile. However, I changed it just for you. Good now?
And... you see my tweet (and my RL name), so where is the problem?
Keep on fighting for this never ending bug, no matter what your synonym is.
They ARE paying attention to this forum: note the new text appearance in the comment creation box. (Not text handling, just the font is different.)
Of course, it could just be an unexpected jacking by a silent software upgrade doing a "no by your leave" major change via a minor little thing to them, you know, I hear SOME renegade, thoughtless software companies do that...
Unfortunately, updating this yet NOT updating even their comments on the subject/s, suggests a LOT of neglect on the "producing" end of the concept. "Oh, we'll collect a lot of input, so you don't go anywhere, but you know, we won't really do anything with it... you understand don't you?"
The stunning result in Pavlov's work was the part where, once an animal was conditioned, how many thousands of times the stimulus would elicit the reaction even though no reward was EVER again provided. The rest of his work was interesting, sure, but that part was sttunning.
Ding-ding, ding-a-ling, Master made a little comment 3½ years ago, don't go switching to Google...
So, sadly, yes, other forms of pressure are likely needed and some might be more effective. I don't use social media myself, but most-a-y'all surely do, and those avenues might be helpful, if only to educate people about this forum and the idea of voting.
Consider the 800,000,000 (estimated) users of Excel and the 280 (nope, not even one comma in that) people actually voting here... I'm sure MS looks at this as more of a suggestion source than any kind of urgent need, "gotta act and act now!" before the press gets wind of this, kind of forum.
Even the Python suggestion with 5,000 votes and a survey conducted getting over 10,000 responses, all acknowledged in the Admin comment, only merits a "so we'll certainly think of this now and then" encouragement.
I, for one, must encourage other avenues, even if they seem to be off-focus, because SOMETHING more is clearly needed.
Arthur Dent commented
@anonyzak I'm certain that Microsoft is checking their **very public** social media responses. However, it's not clear that they're checking this forum, as the this issue has been open since 2015, and it's straightforward to fix. They just need an option to turn off (or to permanently turn off) whatever poorly-written algorithm incessantly performs the automatic date conversion.
Google Sheets is already good about solving this problem.
@Anonymous: why don't you stop being anonymous and vote HERE where we have a forum that Microsoft checks, instead of trying to have us retweet something?
not Anonymous commented
Comment, retweet and like:
Suggested almost 5 years ago and it's still a problem. No wonder companies are moving away from Microsoft. Its obvious they don't give a flying rats a$$ about fixing issues. Support sucks the big one.
I can't add characters when the spreadsheet it exported from another program. Seriously this is the stupidest thing I've ever encountered. FIX IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I just want an option in the default settings to disable all auto-formatting in Excel. I'm perfectly capable of typing what I want to type, but Excel insists on guessing how I wanted it formatted and then automatically changing it without asking or giving an option to switch it back. At least Word has an option to "Undo Autoformatting." Excel doesn't even have that! But no, they insist on adding features nobody wants or cares about instead of this one fix that we've all wanted for decades.
i agree 100% with Terence Martin's comments. Excel often guesses wrong so i have to program around the bad guesses when i use the MATCH or VLOOKUP functions. This slows down my calculations and bloats the spreadsheet. My biggest headache is matching up cells, some of which may have been converted automatically to numeric!
At this point is clear Microsoft doesn't give a **** about fixing excel. Only making the toolbars different. I recommend LibreOffice. It might have the same problem but there's an open source community that will work to make it better. And if not its open source so you can always fix it yourself. **** excel and **** this 5 year old post that microsoft ignores cluttering my inbox.
Please fix it. Please ASAP
agreed. auto-ANYTHING is annoying, because it never reads my mind.
indeed, what kind of super-genius uses "seconds since 1970" as a way to type dates in?
if this was kept, there should at least be an "OFF" button for it.
Andy Lewis commented
Automatic date formatting is not useful except for data entry, and it makes use of Excel for anything but the simplest processes a royal pain. Users have been requesting a way to switch this off for DECADES, but all they get in response is some unpaid "MVP" telling them how to use apostrophes.