# Excel DATEVALUE function

## Summary

The Excel DATEVALUE function is designed to convert a date that’s formatted as text into a serial number that Excel recognizes as a valid date. This conversion is crucial when dealing with dates that are input as text and need to be used in calculations, sorting, or any other date-specific functionality in Excel.
##### Syntax
```				```
=DATEVALUE(date_text)
```
```
• date_text: The date in text format that you want to convert to a serial number.
##### Return value
A serial number representing a valid Excel date.

## How to use

Use DATEVALUE when you have a date represented as text and you need to convert it to a format that Excel can recognize and work with as a date. The function takes a single argument, the date_text, which should be a date in a recognized text format. If the date_text is in a cell, ensure it’s stored as text. If you’re typing it directly into the formula, it must be enclosed in quotes.

## Examples

##### Simple DATEVALUE
Converting a Text Date to Serial Number: To convert a text date into a serial number:
```				```
=DATEVALUE("July 4, 2020")
```
```
This formula takes the text “July 4, 2020” and converts it to the corresponding serial number that Excel recognizes as July 4, 2020.
##### DATEVALUE with TODAY
Calculating Days Since a Date: To calculate how many days have passed since a specific date entered as text:
```				```
=TODAY() - DATEVALUE("1/1/2020")
```
```
This formula converts the text “1/1/2020” to a serial number and subtracts it from today’s date, returning the number of days since January 1, 2020.
##### DATEVALUE for Error Handling

Handling Dates in Mixed Format: To convert a date that may already be in serial number format or as text:

```				```
=IF(ISNUMBER(A1), A1, DATEVALUE(A1))
```
```

This formula checks if the value in A1 is already a number (a valid Excel date). If so, it uses it directly; otherwise, it tries to convert it using DATEVALUE.

##### DATEVALUE with Dynamic Input

Dynamic Date Conversion for Reporting: To convert a series of text dates for analysis:

```				```
=DATEVALUE(B1 & "/2020")
```
```
Assuming B1 contains a day and month like “7/4”, this formula appends “/2020” to it and converts the resulting “7/4/2020” into a serial date number for the year 2020.