Excel 2007 Cell Values Won't Take On Characteristics of Newly Applied Cell Format

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tofishteacher

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I have a sheet with 2 simple columns: Date and Price. I have imported the dates (##/##/####) and the prices ($###,###) by copy/pasting from the search results given to me by a niche database program I use. When the cells paste in, they all have the format "General".

When I try to format the "date" column into dates, it _does_ change the format as far as the cell is concerned, but the content of the cell doesn't adapt to the new format. For example, I have the date as 3/05/2001 and when I change it to a date format of MMM D, YYYY the content should change to March 5, 2001 but it doesn't. It is as if all the cells are forced to stay as text regardless of what the formatting is that I'm applying.

Same problem with the price column: if I change the format to include 2 decimal points, that format does apply to the cells, but the content of each cell remains without a decimal or anything following, as if the content is just text.

I have like 1000 rows in each column, and plan to do this analysis of the database's results frequently, so I'm hoping the answer isn't just to retype the data. There's got to be a way to copy/paste or export or something. Maybe I could copy/paste into notepad first to scrub out any formatting or locking from the niche database program?
 

tofishteacher

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Joined
Nov 14, 2010
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5
Good news: Made some progress. In thinking that maybe each value had the textual single-quote forcing it to act like text, or maybe if I find/repaced all the dollar signs and commas that had been imported, I accidentally discovered that each and every value in my imported columns has a following space!

Bad news: Seems like Excel has a bug that thinks that if I say "Find=[singleSpace]" "Replace=[null]", then I should be given an error saying "Excel cannot find any data to replace". I think I'm doing the find/replace correctly because it worked on the dollar signs and commas.

Anybody know a workaround for the bug?
 
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