Tutorial :How to make correct date format when writing data to Excel


Iam exporting a DataTable to an Excel-file using office interop. The problem is, that Excel does not recognize dates as such, but instead it displays numbers. In another case I pass a string which it then recognizes as a date. In both cases the data is messed up.

I tried NumberFormat @ which is supposed to store the cell in text format, but it didn't work either.

Application app = new Application();  app.Visible = false;  app.ScreenUpdating = false;  app.DisplayAlerts = false;  app.EnableAnimations = false;  app.EnableAutoComplete = false;  app.EnableSound = false;  app.EnableTipWizard = false;  app.ErrorCheckingOptions.BackgroundChecking = false;     Workbook wb = app.Workbooks.Add(XlWBATemplate.xlWBATWorksheet);  Worksheet ws = (Worksheet)wb.Worksheets[1];    for (int j = 0; j < dt.Rows.Count; j++)  {      for (int i = 0; i < dt.Columns.Count; i++)      {          Range rng = ws.Cells[j+2, i+1]as Range;          rng.Value2 = dt.Rows[j][i].ToString();          rng.NumberFormat = "@";      }     }               wb.SaveAs(filename, Missing.Value, Missing.Value, Missing.Value, Missing.Value,         Missing.Value, XlSaveAsAccessMode.xlExclusive, Missing.Value, Missing.Value, Missing.Value, Missing.Value, Missing.Value);    wb.Close(false, Missing.Value, Missing.Value);                app.Workbooks.Close();  app.Application.Quit();  app.Quit();      System.Runtime.InteropServices.Marshal.ReleaseComObject(ws);  System.Runtime.InteropServices.Marshal.ReleaseComObject(wb);  System.Runtime.InteropServices.Marshal.ReleaseComObject(app);  ws = null;  wb = null;  app = null;  GC.Collect();  

Why doesn't my NumberFormat @ work? Shouldn't Textformat display everything the same as I put it in?


Did you try formatting the entire column as a date column? Something like this:

Range rg = (Excel.Range)worksheetobject.Cells[1,1];  rg.EntireColumn.NumberFormat = "MM/DD/YYYY";  

The other thing you could try would be putting a single tick before the string expression before loading the text into the Excel cell (not sure if that matters or not, but it works when typing text directly into a cell).


Try using


And putting that as a double in the cell. There could be issues with Excel on Mac Systems (it uses a different datetime-->double conversion), but it should work well for most cases.

Hope this helps.


I know this question is old but populating Excell Cells with Dates via VSTO has a couple of gotchas.

I found Formula's don't work on dates with yyyy-mmm-dd format - even though the cells were DATE FORMAT! You have to translate Dates to a dd/mm/yyyy format for use in formula's.

For example the dates I am getting come back from SQL Analysis Server and I had to flip them and then format them:

using (var dateRn = xlApp.Range["A1"].WithComCleanup())  {      dateRn.Resource.Value2 = Convert.ToDateTime(dateRn.Resource.Value2).ToString("dd-MMM-yyyy");  }      using (var rn = xlApp.Range["A1:A10"].WithComCleanup())  {      rn.Resource.Select();      rn.Resource.NumberFormat =  "d-mmm-yyyy;@";  }  

Otherwise formula's using Dates doesn't work - the formula in cell C4 is the same as C3:

enter image description here


This worked for me:

sheet.Cells[currentRow, ++currentColumn] = "'" + theDate.ToString("MM/dd/yy");  

Note the tick mark added before the date.


Old question but still relevant. I've generated a dictionary that gets the appropriate datetime format for each region, here is the helper class I generated:


FWIW this is how I went about it:

  1. opened excel, manually entered a datetime into the first cell of a workbook
  2. opened the regions dialog in control panel
  3. used Spy to find out the HWND's of the regions combobox and the apply button so I can use SetForegroundWindow and SendKey to change the region (couldn't find how to change region through the Windows API)
  4. iterated through all regions and for each region asked Excel for the NumberFormat of the cell that contained the date, saved this data to into a file


To format by code Date in Excel cells try this:

Excel.Range rg = (Excel.Range)xlWorkSheet.Cells[numberRow, numberColumn];    rg.NumberFormat = CultureInfo.CurrentCulture.DateTimeFormat.ShortDatePattern;  

After this you can set the DateTime value to specific cell

xlWorkSheet.Cells[numberRow, numberColumn] = myDate;  

If you want to set entire column try this: Excel.Range rg = (Excel.Range)xlWorkSheet.Cells[numberRow, numberColumn];

rg.EntireColumn.NumberFormat =       CultureInfo.CurrentCulture.DateTimeFormat.ShortDatePattern;  


This worked for me:

hoja_trabajo.Cells[i + 2, j + 1] = fecha.ToString("dd-MMM-yyyy").Replace(".", "");  


Hope this help

private bool isDate(Range cell)      {          if (cell.NumberFormat.ToString().Contains("/yy"))          {              return true;          }          return false;      }    isDate(worksheet.Cells[irow, icol])  

Note:If u also have question or solution just comment us below or mail us on toontricks1994@gmail.com
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