I have already disabled autoformatting from the autocorrect menu of the proofing tab in Excel options. For whatever reason I keep experiencing this formatting change even after explicitly setting the format in a blank cell. My table contains four columns, A B C and D. A, B, and C are formatted as time and D should be formatted as general. What happens, however, is after entering times in A and B (the time in C is calculated) any data entered in D gets formatted as time. I can change it back to general after data entry, but even if I set the format of column D in subsequent blank rows it still gets changed to time format!

This behavior is new in Excel 2010 as I'm using the same sheet created in 2007. Any ideas?


Excel assumes you have not applied a format if you use general, so it tries to find the best format for the data you entered. To disable this, go to File => Options => Advanced and uncheck the option for "Extend data range formats and formulas."

Excel Options

Otherwise, you can set column D to something like number, text or even a custom format, and Excel will stop changing the formatting of that column.

  • Awesome. When changing the format of a filled cell to "General" it would change to number, so I had presumed that if I set the format of the empty cells to "General" it would do the same. I've now specified the column as "Number" and all is well. – Josh Jul 5 '12 at 19:42

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