February 23, 2012
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There are a number of ways to get the Month Name for a date to display in your report. Only one method gives you the Month Name and sorts properly (in calendar month order). Other methods, such as using the MONTHNAME function will return the name of the month, but will sort alphabetically rather that in calendar order.
The first step is to use the MONTH function to return the Month Number for the dates. Shown below is a report that contains Close Month, Close Date, and Opportunity Name. Close Month is calculated with the formula: MONTH(Opportunity.”Close Date”)
The next step is to modify the Data Format of this Close Month column. Override the default data format on the Data Format tab of the Column Properties window. You can select either Month Name or Month Name (Abbreviated). This displays the number as the month name, but does not change the data in the column to another data type. In other words, the report still contains the numbers, but they are masked as month names. This way, they sort numerically and stay in calendar order.
Using this method, displaying data in timeline order with month names becomes very easy.