Excel DATE function

Summary

The Excel DATE function is used to create a date from individual year, month, and day components. It is especially valuable for constructing dates that need to dynamically respond to changes in a worksheet or for creating dates based on calculations. The DATE function ensures that the dates created are valid and interpretable by Excel as serial date numbers.
Syntax
				
					=DATE(year, month, day)
				
			
  • year: The year component as a number.
  • month: The month component as a number.
  • day: The day component as a number.
Return value
A serial number representing a valid Excel date.

How to use

To create a date, provide the year, month, and day as separate numerical arguments to the DATE function. The function will return a serial number that Excel recognizes as a date. To view this number as a standard date, apply a date format to the cell. The DATE function is particularly useful when you need to create dates based on dynamic inputs or calculations within your worksheet.

Examples

Simple DATE
Creating a Specific Date: To create a specific date based on individual components:
				
					=DATE(2022, 12, 25)
				
			
This formula constructs the date for December 25, 2022.
DATE and TODAY
Dynamic Birthday Reminder: To remind you of an upcoming birthday every year:
				
					=DATE(YEAR(TODAY()), 5, 20)
				
			
This formula creates a date for May 20th of the current year, dynamically updating each year.
DATE with Calculations
Project Deadline Calculation: To calculate a project deadline based on a start date and duration:
				
					=DATE(YEAR(A1), MONTH(A1) + 6, DAY(A1))
				
			
Assuming the start date is in cell A1, this formula calculates the deadline as 6 months after the start date.

Additional Notes

  • The DATE function is invaluable for creating dynamic dates that adjust automatically based on changes in your worksheet.
  • Remember that Excel dates are essentially serial numbers. January 1, 1900, is 1, and larger numbers represent later dates.
  • To display the serial number as a human-readable date, apply the appropriate number format in Excel.
  • Ensure your year, month, and day inputs are numerical. Non-numeric inputs will result in a #VALUE! error.

Related Functions

Excel DAY function

The Excel DAY function extracts the day of the month from a date, returning a number between 1 and 31, useful for date breakdowns.

Excel TIME function

The Excel TIME function creates a time from hour, minute, and second components, allowing for custom time construction.

Excel MONTH function

The Excel MONTH function extracts the month from a date, returning a number from 1 to 12, ideal for calculations and scheduling.

Excel EDATE function

The Excel EDATE function calculates dates a specific number of months away, aiding in financial planning and scheduling tasks.

Excel YEAR function

The Excel YEAR function extracts the year from a date, converting it to a number, useful for year-based analysis.

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