Here is my issue:

I have exported about 2000 records from a database to manually clean up the dates attached to them. (It appears that someone exported these records before, then re-imported them without fixing the dates, so things like "January 1935" became Jan-35.) I am trying to fix this problem by changing the format to Text when I fix the dates in Excel, which allows me to change dates back to the way we want them to look, but to import the cleaned data back into the system, I have to first change the spreadsheet to a .csv file - which loses the formatting, and reverts the dates back to that Jan-35 format I'm trying to get rid of!

Can anyone help me with a workaround? I tried pasting the info as "values only" into a new spreadsheet and saving it as a .csv, but once again, the .csv can't save this info and the dates revert again.

I am running Excel 2010.

Thanks very much, Kristen


1 Answer 1


Excel and CSVs just don't get along. It constantly messes with formatting and whatnot in ways that you don't want, (or expect!). When mass editing CSV files that need to maintain a certain format for a database, I'll sometimes use Notepad++ and regex.

If you don't know what regex is, use a tool that is meant for editing CSV files, like this: http://csved.sjfrancke.nl

It will save you from the Excel + CSV headaches.

  • I'm going to give that tool a shot - thanks so much for the suggestion!
    – Kristen
    Feb 4, 2015 at 21:32

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