How To Customize Date Formats In Google Sheets

Most people love using Google Sheets because it helps you work efficiently on your data or spreadsheet through all the features and tools it offers. It can help you save time for manual computations, editing graphs and tables, and sorting your data in an orderly manner.


When you have many dates added to your sheets, you can easily change their format and make them uniform with a few clicks! If you have no idea how that works, it’s basically about customizing date formats.

With Google Sheets, you can control how you want all the dates in your spreadsheet to be presented by simply choosing the perfect date format you prefer! To show you how it’s applied, begin reading until the end.

Choosing From The Existing Date Formats

When customizing date formats, there are already existing or given formats you can choose from in the sheets. Below is a detailed discussion you can rely on when it comes to this.

1. Go to Google Sheets and choose what specific sheet needs to be edited.

To begin, you have to launch Google Slides on your computer. After it opens, browse through your data sheets and choose which one needs to be modified.

2. Click “Format” in the menu bar then select “Number.”

In the menu bar of the sheet, select “Format,” then a new menu option will appear. You have to choose “number,” and a small drop-down window will show the different menu options.

3. Choose “More Formats” from the drop-down menu then select “More date and time formats.”

To continue with this method, you have to select “More formats” in the drop-down menu, and this will give you three different options — more currencies, more date and time formats, and custom number formats. From these choices, you have to choose “More date and time formats.”

4. Select the format that you want from all the custom date formats available.

There would be different available custom formats for the dates in your sheets, and you have to choose which one you prefer the most. Click Apply if you are already satisfied with what you chose.

5. Try typing a date in a specific cell and see if the format changed.

To see if what you’ve edited is working, try typing a date in a different cell and see the difference from the previous dates you’ve included in your file.

Creating New Date and Time Formats

If you are not satisfied with the results and have difficulty with selecting your preferred custom date format from the available ones, you can create your own by simply following steps 2 and 3 above. You can use the methods below as a reference to adjust your date format.

1. Delete the following date units in the space provided.

To start creating your format, place the cursor in the space where the date units are located and delete them.

2. Select the down arrow on the right side and choose the unit you would like to have first in the format.

Clicking the arrow pointing downwards on the right side of your small window can help you see the various date units available readily. Date, month, and year are the most commonly used units. It would be best if you decided which of those units will go first, and so on.

3. Click the double arrow beside the unit to adjust the exact way to display the values.

On the right side of each unit, there is a double arrow. When you click these arrows for each, you will be presented options to view or display the values. Select one of these options to change the way you show the values on your sheet. The values are expressed differently in each of the three units.

For the year section, you can choose between displaying the last two digits of the year or the full numeric year.

For the month section, you will have 5 different options — numeric display with zero, numeric display without zero, month’s abbreviation, month’s full name, and the first letter of the month.

For the day section, you will be provided with the following choices: without zero, with zero, the day’s abbreviation, and the day’s full name.

4. Click “Apply” to save all the changes made.

If you’re satisfied and happy about all the changes you’ve made, click on the apply button on the right side of the new window.

Additional Notes

Learning about customizing date formats in Google Sheets is very helpful when you aim to present your data in a well-ordered way, and we have discussed everything you need in this guide. Thus, whenever you’re working on organizing your essential sheets and their content, this may be a great technique to apply, especially when there are a lot of dates involved.

But if this isn’t exactly what you need, there wouldn’t be any problem at all because you can also try customizing number formats in your sheets. You can personally explore Google Sheets on your own so that you can get to use more of its features to your advantage!