DATE

Using the Excel DATE Function

Summary

The DATE function allows you to create a date when three inputs are provided: year, month, and day. You will find the DATE function is very useful when dates are used as inputs for other functions.

Syntax

=DATE (year, month, day)

Syntax Breakdown

Year
A required value that can include one to four digits. The year argument is interpreted according to the date system on your computer. Excel running on a Windows machine will default to the 1900 date system.

Month
A required value that can include a value from 1 to 12 and can be either positive or negative. Each value represents a month with 1 representing January and 12 representing December.

If the month provided is greater than 12, then that number of months is added to the first month. For example, DATE(2018,13,1) will return 1/1/2019.

If the month provided is less than 12, then that number of months is subtracted from the first month. For example, DATE(2018, -1, 1) will return 11/1/2017.

Day
A required value that can include any value from 1 to 31 and can be either positive or negative.

If the day provided is greater than 31, then that number of days is added to the first day. For example, DATE(2018,10,33) will return 11/2/2018.

If the day provided is less than 31, then that number of days, plus one, is subtracted from the first day. For example, DATE(2018, 10, -5) will return 9/25/2018.


Advanced Usage

Increment or Decrement Date by a Given Number of Days
You may experience the need to increase or decrease a date by a given number of days. To achieve your goal you will need to add or subtract the number of days to the cell that contains the date you wish to change.

C5 in the example below is the cell that contains the date that we would like to increase by 5 days.

Increase and Decrease DATE

Change the Date Format
If you want to change how the date is presented in Excel, follow these steps:

1. Right click the cell(s) you would like to change.

2. Click Format Cells

3. Select the Location and Type that fits your needs.

Change DATE Format