Dating in the new year

Some people in the office are whinging about the fact that typing a December date without appending the year defaults to storing it as a 2012 date. They are of the view that Excel should know that they meant December 2011.

You see, if you type a date without bothering with the year, Excel will assume that you mean the current year. So type "12 December" today, and it will store this as 12 December 2012.

I questioned what logic Excel should use. Should it start using the current year in March? June? October? They couldn't answer.

While the behaviour can be a bit annoying early in the new year, there is no better suggestion out there. Maybe Excel ask each user a few questions about what they use Excel for ("do you bill in arrears or advance?") to determine the default behaviour. Or not.

So deal with it.

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