Date: Excel Formulae Explained

by Jacky Chou
Updated on

Key Takeaways:

  • The DATE function in Excel is used to create a date by specifying the year, month, and day as separate arguments, allowing for more flexible date manipulation.
  • The syntax of the DATE function involves specifying the year, month, and day as separate arguments within the function, separated by commas. The function then returns a valid Excel date value.
  • To use the DATE function in Excel, you simply need to enter the function formula with the appropriate year, month, and day values. This can be used in conjunction with other formulas for date manipulation purposes.
  • When using the DATE function in Excel, it’s important to remember to input the arguments in the correct order to avoid errors. Additionally, formatting cells as dates is important to ensure proper display of date values.
  • Two common errors when using the DATE function in Excel include entering the arguments in the wrong order or not formatting cells as dates. If encountering errors, double-check the arguments in the function and cell formatting.

Have you ever struggled to understand complex Excel formulae? You’re not alone! This article explains the ins and outs of Excel’s powerful formulae to help you unlock their potential.

The Basics of DATE Function in Excel

DATE Function in Excel: A Professional Explanation

Excel’s DATE function is simple yet powerful. Using this function, you can enter a specific year, month, and day to create a date value that can be used in various calculations and analyses. It is an essential formula for managing and organizing data that involves dates or time.

To use the DATE function in Excel, you need to understand its syntax, which involves specifying year, month and day inside the function. Excel will then return a date value, which you can format as required.

Aside from specifying a single date, you can also use the DATE function to create sequences of dates. For instance, you can increment the date month by month or change the year in a column without manually entering dates.

Moreover, the DATE function is a foundational component of the DATEDIF formula, which computes the difference between two dates in various units such as days, months, or years.

Fun fact: Excel was introduced in 1985 and has become a standard tool for data analysis across industries.

Syntax of DATE Function

The DATE Function in Excel facilitates the creation of a date string by combining information about the year, month, and day. Here’s how to use it:

  1. Begin by typing =DATE( in the cell where you wish to insert the date string.
  2. Input the relevant data in the order “year, month, day”. Be sure to separate them with commas. For example, to enter January 1st, 2022, you would type =DATE(2022,1,1).
  3. Close the parentheses and hit enter.
  4. Your date string will take the form “mm/dd/yyyy“, according to your computer’s date settings.
  5. You can format the cell to display the date in a different way if you prefer, using the “Format Cells” option.

The DATE Function is a useful tool for creating dates in Excel, but it is important to note that it only works with calendar dates and cannot be used for more specialized types of dates, such as financial dates. Remember to use the DATEDIF function for those cases.

Pro Tip: To make sure your date strings stay consistent throughout your spreadsheet, consider entering them into a separate cell and referencing that cell in other formulas. This will prevent errors if you need to edit the date later on.

How to Use DATE Function in Excel?

The Power of DATE Function in Excel

Learn how to effectively utilize the DATE function in Excel with these simple 3 steps:

  1. Determine the Year, Month and Day: Begin by selecting the cells where you want to insert the dates. Use the DATE formula and enter the corresponding Year, Month and Day. For example, the DATE(2021, 9, 15) formula will produce the date 15/09/2021.
  2. Combine the Cells: To simplify the process, use CONCATENATE to combine the Year, Month and Day formulas. For instance, the formula =CONCATENATE(DATE(2021,9,15),” “) would produce the date as “15/09/2021”.
  3. Formatting: Finally, format the cell to the preferred date format. To do this, select the cell and choose the format option from the format cell tab.

Make use of the lesser-known but versatile features of Excel’s DATE function to customize and extract specific information such as age and duration. Try employing these Excel formulas – DATEDIF and NOW, and learn how to calculate the time difference between two dates in years, months, and days.

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to improve your Excel skills with these simple tips. Incorporate the DATE function into your daily workflow to simplify and expedite your tasks.

Tips for Using DATE Function Effectively

The Effective Use of DATE Function in Excel Formulae

Excel’s DATE function is a powerful formula that is capable of performing complex tasks. To use it effectively, follow these five steps:

  1. Always use the correct syntax and format when inputting the date in the function.
  2. Edit and manipulate the date output by applying various formatting options available in Excel.
  3. Use the DATEDIF function to calculate the difference between two dates.
  4. When using multiple date functions, create a clear naming convention for your cells.
  5. Use the TODAY function to input the current date without manually inputting it.

In addition, it is crucial to take advantage of the many resources available for Excel formulae to always stay up to date with the latest tips and techniques.

One inspiring example of effective DATE function usage is during the COVID-19 pandemic, where Excel formulae played a crucial role in tracking statistics and predicting future trends in case numbers.

In summary, mastering Excel formulae and specifically the DATE function can greatly enhance productivity, accuracy, and flexibility in data processing.

Common Errors and Solutions when using DATE Function in Excel

When working with DATE Function in Excel, encountering errors can be frustrating. Here’s how to troubleshoot and resolve them efficiently.

  1. Incorrect Date Format: Ensure that the date format used is compatible with the DATE Function. Format errors may lead to an error message.
  2. Invalid Input Data: Check that the input date data is valid, as incorrect or incomplete data can create errors.
  3. Incorrect Function Syntax: Verify that the syntax of the DATE Function is precise and follows the correct pattern.

It is crucial to note that the DATEDIF function can be an excellent alternative to the DATE Function in cases where the latter is not producing accurate results.

Having issues with DATE Function in Excel? Though errors can be cumbersome, they’re fixable with the right approach.

Recently, a colleague of mine struggled with producing the correct output using the DATE Function. After consultation, we discovered that a wrong date format was used, causing errors in the results. After correcting the format, the DATE function performed correctly, and the output was accurate.

Five Facts About DATE: Excel Formulae Explained:

  • ✅ The DATE function in Excel returns the number that represents the date. (Source: Microsoft)
  • ✅ The syntax for the DATE function is DATE(year, month, day). (Source: Excel Easy)
  • ✅ Excel stores dates as sequential serial numbers, starting from January 1, 1900. (Source: Excel Jet)
  • ✅ With the use of various date functions, Excel can perform calculations based on dates, such as calculating the number of days between two dates. (Source: Excel Campus)
  • ✅ Excel also allows for the formatting of dates in various ways, such as changing the date display to show the day of the week or month name. (Source: Ablebits)

FAQs about Date: Excel Formulae Explained

What is DATE Function in Excel?

DATE: Excel Formulae Explained is a built-in function in Excel that allows you to create a date by specifying the year, month, and day as separate arguments. The syntax of the function is =DATE(year, month, day).

How do I use the TODAY Function in Excel?

The TODAY function in Excel is used to display the current date. The syntax of the function is =TODAY(). To use the function, simply enter “=TODAY()” in a cell, and the function will return the current date.

What is the DATEDIF Function in Excel?

The DATEDIF function is a hidden function in Excel that can be used to calculate the difference between two dates in days, months, or years. The syntax of the function is =DATEDIF(start_date, end_date, unit). The “unit” argument can be “d” for days, “m” for months, or “y” for years.

What is the NOW Function in Excel?

The NOW function in Excel is used to display the current date and time. The syntax of the function is =NOW(). To use the function, simply enter “=NOW()” in a cell, and the function will return the current date and time.

What is the EDATE Function in Excel?

The EDATE function in Excel is used to add or subtract a specified number of months from a given date. The syntax of the function is =EDATE(start_date, months). The “months” argument can be a positive or negative number, depending on whether you want to add or subtract months.

What is the WEEKDAY Function in Excel?

The WEEKDAY function in Excel is used to determine the day of the week for a given date. The syntax of the function is =WEEKDAY(date, [return_type]). The “return_type” argument is optional and can be used to specify whether you want the function to return the day of the week as a number (1-7) or as a text value (e.g. “Sunday”, “Monday”).

Auther name

Jacky Chou is an electrical engineer turned marketer. He is the founder of IndexsyFar & AwayLaurel & Wolf, a couple of FBA businesses, and about 40 affiliate sites. He is a proud native of Vancouver, BC, who has been featured on Entrepreneur.comForbesOberlo, and GoDaddy.