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Excel and Two-Digit Years

Entering two-digit years (such as 04 for 2004 and 99 for 1999) is problematic in Excel because various versions of the program treat them differently. In versions since Excel 97, the two-digit years 00 through 29 are interpreted as the years 2000 through 2029, while 30 through 99 are interpreted as the years 1930 through 1999. Earlier versions treated the two-digit years 00 through 19 as 2000 through 2019, and 20 through 99 as 1920 through 1999.

Two problems arise here: One is that using a two-digit year such as 25 will cause havoc if the worksheet will ever be loaded into Excel 95 or some earlier version. The second is that you could throw a monkey wrench into your calculations by using a date such as 8/23/30 to mean August 23, 2030, because Excel treats it as August 23, 1930.


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