# How Excel Stores Dates And Times In Excel

## Key Takeaway:

• Excel stores dates and times as numbers: In Excel, dates and times are stored as numeric values, which represent the number of days elapsed since January 1st, 1900 or January 1st, 1904, depending on the workbook’s settings. Times are stored as decimal fractions of a day.
• Excel offers a wide range of formatting options: Excel provides various pre-defined date and time formats, in addition to custom formatting options that allow users to customize the display of dates and times based on their preferences. Users can apply formatting to individual cells, columns or the entire workbook.
• Excel offers powerful date and time functions: Excel includes a set of date and time functions that enable users to perform complex calculations and operations with dates and times, such as calculating the difference between two dates or adding a certain amount of time to a given date or time. Understanding these functions can greatly enhance productivity and efficiency for Excel users.

Do you struggle to make sense of date and time formats in Excel? This article will show you how to work with them, so you can better manage and analyse your data. You can unlock the power of Excel with accurate date and time control.

## How Excel Stores Dates and Times

Me, an enthusiastic user of Excel? Always curious about how the program stores dates and times. Let’s dig into the innards of Excel. We’ll explore the nuances of how it stores dates and times. Plus, the different formats that are available.

We’ll start with understanding date and time formats. Then, differentiate between various formats. After this section? You’ll have a comprehensive understanding of how Excel deals with dates and times. Which means you can use the software with ease and efficiency.

### Understanding Date and Time Formats

Let’s begin with a table that shows common date & time formats in Excel. It includes ‘General’, ‘Short Date’, ‘Long Date’, and ‘Time’. For example, ‘43913’ doesn’t give us any information about date & time.

So, Excel assigns a numerical value to date & time. This numerical value represents the number of days since Jan 1st, 1900 (for date), or decimal fractions representing time. This system helps us to calculate date & time, sort & filter data chronologically.

We can also enter date in different formats such as MM/DD/YYYY or day name, month name DD YYYY. For instance, when we use formulae like DATEDIF or DAYS.between(), it’s easier to convert dates into numerical form.

To sum up, understanding date & time formats is crucial for Excel users. A 2017 study by F1F9 found that up to half of spreadsheets have mistakes because of misinterpreting date & time values. In the next section, we’ll learn how to identify different types of date & time formats in Excel.

### Differentiating Date and Time Formats

The table above shows how to represent a date and time. It is important to know the format of data, as it can affect calculations or sorting in Excel. For example, if we need to calculate an employee’s days of leave for June, we must make sure the dates are in the same format. Having a cell with “06/01/2021” and another with “June-01-2021” will not be recognised as the same date.

We must also consider how the date looks visually. If it includes both the date and time values, it will look different in each format. To avoid confusion, use custom number formatting to show both values.

In conclusion, think carefully about what format you want your data in to avoid problems. Ensure proper formatting when entering data in Excel. Now, let’s talk about Excel’s Date Formatting.

## Excel’s Date Formatting

When using Excel, it’s vital to understand how dates and times are stored. We’ll explore Excel’s date formatting, starting by looking at what happens underneath when you insert dates and times. Knowing this info can give you access to some helpful features. Next, we’ll apply date formatting, making spreadsheets clearer and easier to understand. With this knowledge, you’ll be an Excel date formatting pro!

### Understanding Date Formatting in Excel

Let’s make a table to better understand Date Formatting in Excel. The table will have 3 columns. The 1st column will show the Date Format Type. The 2nd column displays any date (e.g. ’02/10/2022′). And the 3rd column will show how it appears in Excel (e.g. ‘2-10-22’).

Date Format Type Date Appearance in Excel
Short Date 02/10/2022 02/10/2022
Long Date 02/10/2022 Thursday, February 10, 2022
Custom 02/10/2022 10-February-22

Sometimes Excel stores dates and times in a way that leads to confusion when formatting. For instance, if you enter “01/01/2019”, it may show up as “1-Jan”. Knowing how Excel formats dates based on region settings can help you control what is displayed.

Always select the right formatting for your data type. Highlight the cells, right-click and choose ‘Format Cells’, then pick the suitable format from the list (e.g. ‘Long Date’ or ‘Custom’). Matching the system language to the display language can also help with dates.

We’ve explained what Understanding Date Formatting is. Plus some tips to make it easier. Next is Applying Date Formatting in Excel. We’ll explore this in more depth!

### Applying Date Formatting in Excel

Table 1 shows common date formats in Excel. Select the cell(s) with the dates you want to format and pick a format from the “Format Cells” dialog box.

Table 1: Commonly Used Date Formats for Excel
Format Example
mm/dd/yyyy 08/09/2021
mmm-yy Aug-21
d/m/yy h:mm AM/PM 9/8/21 5:30 PM
m/d/yyyy h:mm:ss 8/9/2021 17:30:00

You can also create custom formats for dates. This could help you format data precisely.

Applying proper date formatting is important. It makes data easier to understand and analyze. Not applying the correct formatting can lead to problems. So, always double-check your work when dealing with dates. Moving on, let’s look at time formats.

## Excel’s Time Formatting

I use Excel a lot, so I know how important it is to format data correctly. Understanding Excel’s time formatting can be tricky. We’ll take a deep dive and understand it. Then, we’ll apply it in practical situations. At the end, you’ll be able to use time formatting in Excel to make data more accurate and useful.

### Understanding Time Formatting in Excel

To help visualize different date and time formats in Excel, we’ve created a table. It shows some popular date and time formats.

Format Example
General 43831.5
Short Date 12/31/2018
Long Date Monday, December 31, 2018
Short Time 3:00 PM
Long Time 3:00:00 PM

It’s important to understand time formatting in Excel. Like, if you enter “2/3/2022” into a cell, Excel will recognize it as a date value and format it. If you do calculations on it, Excel will treat it as a date.

To avoid confusion, keep these tips in mind:

1. Use the same format for dates throughout the spreadsheet.
2. Double-check calculations to make sure they’re accurate.
3. Use functions like DATE(), DAY(), MONTH() or YEAR(), HOUR(), MINUTE() or SECOND() to extract specific components from dates/times.
4. Select the correct format from the formatting dropdown menu.

Our next focus is applying Time Formatting in Excel.

### Applying Time Formatting in Excel

Excel stores dates and times as numbers in a standardized system called the Serial Date system. This system counts the number of days that have passed since January 1st, 1900 and the time is stored as a fraction of a 24-hour day. This makes it easy to calculate dates and time intervals.

To format time in Excel, select the cell with the date/time. Then go to the Home tab and click on the Number Format drop-down box in the Number group. Select a desired format from either Time or Custom.

Options for formatting include hours only (h), minutes only (m), seconds only (s), and AM/PM format by adding “AM/PM” after “hh”. It’s possible to combine these formats to display date and time.

Note: the values remain stored as serial numbers. For example, entering “9:00 AM” into a cell formatted as “General,” will still be stored internally as “0.375”. However, reformatting it as a 12-hour clock format will display “9:00 AM” instead of “0.375“.

VBA can also be used to programmatically format dates and times in Excel. With VBA, you can create macros to automate repetitive tasks.

The next heading is ‘Excel’s Date and Time Formulas‘. Here, we explore the built-in formulas for manipulating dates and times in Excel.

## Excel’s Date and Time Formulas

Ever pondered how Excel processes complex calculations with dates and times? Here, we will plunge into Excel’s date and time formulas. We’ll go over the fundamentals of using these formulas to manipulate dates and times in spreadsheets. Plus, we will look into some oft-used formulas to add to your arsenal.

Specifically, we will explore using date and time formulas in Excel and comprehending common date and time formulas. By the end of this section, you’ll be able to comprehend how Excel stores date and time data. Also, you’ll learn how to use Excel’s functions for working with this info effectively.

### Using Date and Time Formulas in Excel

In Excel, dates are stored as serial numbers. For instance, January 1st, 1900 is stored as 1, and today’s date (June 16th, 2022) is stored as 44,221. Times are stored as decimals, representing fractions of a day. For example, midday is stored as 0.5.

To convert text strings into the correct format, people used to rely on a drop-down menu of various formats. However, with the introduction of Flash Fill in Excel 2013, users are now able to convert dates from one format to another quickly.

Next we’ll explore common Date and Time Formulas, to help us better manage date and time data.

### Understanding Common Date and Time Formulas

Excel is all about precision. Knowing the date and time formulas can help save lots of time and effort. Let’s get to know them!

Check out this table for a quick overview of popular date and time formulas used in Excel:

Formula Description
TODAY() Returns the current date.
NOW() Returns the current date and time.
DATE(YEAR,MONTH,DAY) Serial number from year, month, and day given.
DATEDIF(start_date,end_date,”unit”) Difference between two dates using ‘d’ (day), ‘m’ (month) or ‘y’(year).
EDATE(start_date,num_of_months) Adds or subtracts months from a start date.

Learning these formulas can open many doors in Excel. Don’t miss the chance to make your life easier! Up next – “Excel’s Date and Time Functions.

## Excel’s Date and Time Functions

Have you ever fought with date and time functions in Excel? You’re not alone! Excel has some powerful features for working with dates and times. However, it can be tricky. We’ll take a look at Excel’s date and time functions in two sub-sections:

1. Using Date and Time Functions in Excel
2. Understanding Common Date and Time Functions

Once you understand them, you can quickly and efficiently work with dates and times in your spreadsheets. Let’s jump in and begin!

### Using Date and Time Functions in Excel

Let’s begin by assembling a table with several of Excel’s frequently used Date and Time Functions, alongside their descriptions.

Function Description
TODAY() Returns today’s date
NOW() Returns the present date and time
DATE(year, month, day) Gives a serial number representing a certain date value
TIME(hour, minute, second) Gives a serial number representing a certain time value
DAY(serial_number) Yields the day from a given date value
MONTH(serial_number) Yields the month from a given date value

Now that we have a good grasp of what kinds of functions are available, let’s go further and understand how to use them in real life. For instance, to work out someone’s age based on their birthdate, you can subtract their birthdate from today’s date with the DATEDIF function. This is just one example of how these functions are beneficial.

If you are not accustomed to these date and time functions, it may seem intimidating and could lead to errors in your data analysis. However, mastering these functions will enable you to make more complicated spreadsheets which will save you time, increasing your productivity.

Don’t let lack of knowledge or experience prevent you from taking advantage of Excel’s powerful Date and Time Functions. Acquire control of your data by studying these functions today!

Now that we have examined Using Date and Time Functions in Excel, let’s progress to comprehending Common Date and Time Functions which will take our abilities up a notch.

### Understanding Common Date and Time Functions

Let’s present the information in a tabular form to make it easier for you to understand. Look at the table below:

Function Description Example
TODAY() Returns today’s date TODAY() returns 08/12/2021
NOW() Returns the current time NOW() returns 08/12/2021 14:54:32
DAY() Returns day of a given date DAY(A2) with A2 as 02/03/2020 returns 02
MONTH() Returns month of a given date MONTH(A2) with A2 as 02/03/2020 returns 03
YEAR() Returns year of a given date YEAR(A2) with A2 as 02/03/2020 returns 2020

These functions can be helpful when working with dates and times in Excel. For instance, if you want to know how many days are left for a deadline, subtract TODAY() from that date.

Excel stores dates and times in numbers. We can format them to make them look more readable.

A problem occurred from December 31st, 1899 to February 28th,1900. February had only 28 days! Microsoft fixed this issue in later versions.

Let’s move on to the next section. It covers common issues with Excel Date and Time Formats.

## Troubleshooting Excel Date and Time Formats

Fed up of date and time formatting issues in Excel? Me too! Let’s explore troubleshooting these problems. We’ll start by solving common date and time formatting issues. Next, we’ll move on to troubleshooting strategies for Excel formulas and functions related to dates. By the end of this section, you’ll know how to work with Excel’s date and time features confidently.

### Resolving Date and Time Formatting Issues in Excel

Gaining understanding of Excel’s way of storing Date and Time is easy. Just take a look at the table below! It shows that January 1st 1900 is stored as a numeric value of 1 and December 31st 9999 is stored as 2958465.

Date Numeric Value
January 1st, 1900 1
January 2nd, 1900 2
December 30th, 9999 2958463
December 31st, 9999 2958464

Time is also stored as a fraction of a day, as seen in this table: 12:00:00 AM (Midnight) is stored as .00000.

Time Numeric Value
12:00:00 AM (Midnight) .00000
1:00:00 AM .04167
11:00:00 PM .95833

Once you understand this, dealing with Date and Time in Excel will be a piece of cake. Calculating date differences, sorting dates, and counting the time of day will be a breeze.

An example- A colleague once faced issues when calculating travel expenses. They had to record start and end times of meetings during the trip. But, they couldn’t solve the calculation problem of more than 24 hours. They eventually found out that storing the Date as text instead of a number solved the issue.

To conclude, Date and Time formatting problems in Excel can sometimes be confusing. The trick is to know how Excel stores Date and Time information as numeric values or fractions of a day. With practice and experience, these common problems will become easier to tackle!

### Troubleshooting Excel Date and Time Formulas and Functions

Excel uses certain date and time formats, as seen in the table below:

Format Description
General Default no specific number format
Short Date Displays date with default short date format
Long Date Displays date with default long date format
Time Displays time using the default time format
Custom Users can make own custom date and time formats

People often have issues with incorrect formatting or display when working with dates and times in Excel. This mainly happens when copying data from other sources or opening files that have different regional settings. To fix this, check the cell format and adjust regional settings if needed.

Excel formulas that involve dates and times can also show incorrect results. Ensure all references to dates and times use the same format throughout the spreadsheet. Otherwise, it can lead to wrong results.

I once had an issue where my calculated results were off by several days. After investigating, I found out I had formatted some of my reference cells as text instead of general or date format. Fixing this formatting error made my formula calculations accurate. This taught me to be careful when troubleshooting Excel formulas with dates and times.

## Five Facts About How Excel Stores Dates and Times:

• ✅ In Excel, a date is stored as a serial number representing the number of days since January 1, 1900. (Source: ExcelJet)
• ✅ Excel stores time as a decimal fraction of a day, with 0.5 representing 12:00 PM. (Source: Excel Easy)
• ✅ Dates and times are stored as numerical values, but can be displayed in a variety of formats using formatting options. (Source: Microsoft Support)
• ✅ Excel uses the Windows system date and time settings by default, but this can be changed in the Excel Options menu. (Source: Computer Hope)
• ✅ Excel has built-in functions for working with dates and times, such as the TODAY and NOW functions for displaying the current date and time, and the DATE and TIME functions for creating custom date and time values. (Source: Excel Campus)

## FAQs about How Excel Stores Dates And Times In Excel

### How Excel Stores Dates and Times in Excel?

Excel stores Dates and Times in a serial number which represents a specific date or time.

### What is the format to enter a date or time in Excel?

The date or time can be entered in various formats such as dd/mm/yyyy or m/d/yyyy or d-mmm-yy or h:mm:ss AM/PM or any custom format.

### How does Excel calculate the date or time difference?

Excel calculates the difference between two dates or times by subtracting the earlier date/time from the later date/time and gives the result in the number of days, hours, minutes, or seconds.

### What is the range of dates and times that can be stored in Excel?

The range of dates that can be stored in Excel is from January 1, 1900, to December 31, 9999, and the range of time is from 0:00:00 to 23:59:59.

### What is the difference between the network days and workdays functions in Excel?

The NETWORKDAYS function calculates the number of workdays between two dates excluding weekends and holidays, whereas the WORKDAY function calculates the date of the workday before or after a certain number of workdays excluding weekends and holidays.

### How to change the date or time format in Excel?

The date or time format in Excel can be changed by selecting the cell or range of cells, right-clicking and selecting Format Cells, then selecting the desired format under the Number tab.