The Hermit Hermit's Free Library  Brain Teasers

One in a series of exercises that demonstrate how to accomplish real-world computing tasks using time- and work-saving techniques.

Solution to Brain Teaser #4: Manipulating Dates and Transforming Lists


  1. Paste the list into a Word document
  2. Select the list and convert it to a table
    How to convert a list to table
    Read about data sheparding
  3. Sort on first column
    How to sort a table
  4. Copy table to clipboard
  5. Paste into cell A1 of a blank Excel worksheet
  6. Select the cells containing the dates
  7. Use Format Cells to format them as dates with the type '*Wednesday, March 14, 2001'
  8. Copy the range of cells to the clipboard and paste back into Word
  9. Use Drag and Drop to transpose the first (dates) and second (names) columns
    How to transpose table columns
  10. Covert the table back to a list with names and birthdays separated by dashes
    How to convert a table to a list

Done! In less than a minute (with practice).