Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Chapter 6: Working with
Dates and Times
In This Chapter
• An overview of using dates and times in Excel
• Excel's date-related functions
• Excel's time-related functions
Beginners often find that working with dates and times in Excel can be frustrating. To help avoid this frustration,
you'll need a good understanding of how Excel handles time-based information. This chapter provides the in-
formation you need to create powerful formulas that manipulate dates and times.
The dates in this chapter correspond to the U.S. English date format: month/day/year.
For example, the 3/1/1952 refers to March 1, 1952 — not January 3, 1952. I realize that
this is very illogical, but that's how we Americans have been trained. I trust that the non-
American readers of this book can make the adjustment.
How Excel Handles Dates and Times
This section presents a quick overview of how Excel deals with dates and times. It includes coverage of Excel's
date and time serial number system and also offers tips for entering and formatting dates and times.
Other chapters in this book contain additional date-related information. For example, see
Chapter 7 for counting examples that use dates. Also, Chapter 26 contains some VBA
functions that work with dates.
Understanding date serial numbers
To Excel, a date is simply a number. More precisely, a date is a serial number that represents the number of days
since January 0, 1900. A serial number of 1 corresponds to January 1, 1900; a serial number of 2 corresponds to