How To Stop Google Sheets From Making Dates

With Google Sheets, sometimes you enter a series of numbers or a specific format, and Google Sheets automatically transforms this data into a date. While this feature can be handy in some instances, it can also be quite frustrating when you’re trying to input data that is definitely not a date.

In this blog post, we will guide you through the process of stopping Google Sheets from automatically converting your data into dates.

Method 1: Pre-format the cells as plain text

To prevent Google Sheets from transforming your data, you can pre-format the cell as ‘Plain text’. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Select the cell or cells where you’re going to input the data.
  2. Click on Format in the top menu.
  3. In the dropdown menu, select Number.
  4. Another dropdown menu will appear. Here, click on Plain Text.

By doing this, Google Sheets will treat the input as plain text and won’t auto-format it into a date.

Method 2: Input an apostrophe before your data

If you are worried about forgetting to pre-format the cells, there’s an easy fix. Simply input an apostrophe (‘) before your data. Don’t worry, Google Sheets won’t show this apostrophe in the cell. It will only prevent Google Sheets from auto-formatting your data into a date.

For example, instead of typing 1-10, you should type ‘1-10.

Method 3: Use a Custom Format

If you’re frequently inputting specific types of data that Google Sheets keeps transforming into a date, you could benefit from creating a custom format. Here’s how:

  1. Click on Format in the top menu.
  2. In the dropdown menu, click on Number.
  3. Then, select More Formats.
  4. In the following dropdown, click on Custom number format.
  5. Type your desired format in the box that appears and then click Apply.

From here on, Google Sheets will use this format instead of transforming your data into a date.

Wrap Up

Google Sheets’ automated formatting can save a lot of time, but it can also become an obstacle if it’s not formatting your data correctly. By using these methods, you can ensure that your data stays exactly how you want it.

With just a few clicks, you can stop Google Sheets from making dates out of your data, allowing you to work more efficiently and with fewer frustrations.