Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
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
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!
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