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In Depth Information

**Chapter 12: Dressing Up for Date Functions**

Chapter 12

Dressing Up for Date Functions

In This Chapter

▶
Handling dates

▶
Working with days, months, and years

▶
Getting the value of today

▶
Determining the day of the week

Often when working with Excel, you need to manage dates. Perhaps you

have a list of dates when you visited a client and you need to count

how many times you were there in September. On the other hand, maybe you

are tracking a project over a few months and want to know how many days

are in between the milestones.

Excel has a number of useful Date functions to make your work easier! This

chapter explains how Excel handles dates, how to compare and subtract

dates, how to work with parts of a date (such as the month or year), and

even how to count the number of days between two dates. You can always

reference the current data from your computer’s clock and use it in a

calculation; I’ll show you how.

Understanding How Excel Handles Dates

Imagine if, on January 1, 1900, you starting counting by ones, each day adding

one more to the total. This is just how Excel thinks of dates. January 1, 1900,

is one; January 2, 1900, is two; and so on. We’ll always remember 25,404 as

the day man first walked on the moon, and 36,892 as the start of the new

millennium!

The millennium actually started on January 1, 2001. The year 2000 is the last

year of the 20th century. Representing dates as a serial number — specifically,

the number of days between January 1, 1900, and the date in question — may

seem odd, but there are very good reasons for it. Excel can handle dates from

January 1, 1900, to December 31, 9999. Using the serial numbering system,

that’s 1 through 2,958,465!