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Chapter 8. Date and Time Functions > Date and Time Functions Overview

Date and Time Functions Overview

Date and time functions are powerful functions that allow you to automate and manage information dealing with time elements. For example, if you have a daily report that goes out and you always want the report to include the day it was printed, you could manually enter the current date into a cell before printing or let Excel's TODAY() date function do it for you. The date and time formulas can do much more than provide a simple date in a cell; they can also help you manage time by calling out due dates, weekends, holidays, or dates that are past due. You can find maturity dates, and create calculators that manage your bills and combine formulas to see workdays in the future.

Unlike most other numeric data, when you enter a date or a formula that calculates a date, in most cases, Excel automatically displays the result in an easily readable date format. The date is actually a serial number representing the time elapsed since 12:00 AM, January 1, 1900. When you are comparing two dates, Excel is looking at the serial numbers. Therefore, one date minus another date is one serial number subtracted from another serial number, with the result converted back into a date format. This chapter covers the functions listed in Table 8.1 that are marked in bold.


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