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 information 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 ...

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