In this comprehensive guide, we will explore everything you need to know about the DATEVALUE formula in Excel. DATEVALUE is a powerful function that allows you to convert a date represented as text into a serial number that Excel can recognize and manipulate as a date. This is particularly useful when working with data imported from other sources, where dates may be formatted as text. By the end of this article, you will have a deep understanding of the DATEVALUE formula, its syntax, examples, tips and tricks, common mistakes, and related formulae.
The syntax for the DATEVALUE formula in Excel is quite simple:
Where date_text is the text representation of a date that you want to convert into a serial number. The date_text argument can be a cell reference, a text string enclosed in double quotes, or a formula that returns a text string.
Let’s dive into some examples to better understand how the DATEVALUE formula works in Excel.
Example 1: Basic usage
Suppose you have a date in cell A1 formatted as text: “15-Jan-2022”. To convert this text into a serial number, you can use the following formula:
This formula will return the serial number 44502, which represents the date January 15, 2022.
Example 2: Using a text string directly
You can also use a text string directly in the DATEVALUE formula. For example:
This formula will also return the serial number 44502, representing the date January 15, 2022.
Example 3: Combining DATEVALUE with other functions
Suppose you have a date in cell A1 formatted as text: “2022/01/15”. You can use the DATEVALUE function in combination with the TEXT function to convert this date into a more readable format:
This formula will return the text “15-Jan-2022”, which is a more user-friendly representation of the date.
DATEVALUE Tips & Tricks
Here are some tips and tricks to help you get the most out of the DATEVALUE formula in Excel:
Tip 1: Use DATEVALUE with conditional formatting
You can use the DATEVALUE function in combination with conditional formatting to highlight cells containing dates in a specific range. For example, you can highlight cells with dates in the current month by using a formula like this in the conditional formatting rule:
Tip 2: Combine DATEVALUE with other date functions
DATEVALUE can be combined with other date functions like YEAR, MONTH, and DAY to extract specific components of a date. For example, to extract the year from a text date in cell A1, you can use the following formula:
Common Mistakes When Using DATEVALUE
There are a few common mistakes that users make when working with the DATEVALUE formula in Excel:
Mistake 1: Using an invalid date format
DATEVALUE requires the date_text argument to be in a format that Excel can recognize. If you use an invalid date format, the formula will return a #VALUE! error. Make sure your date_text is in a format that Excel can interpret, such as “dd-mmm-yyyy” or “yyyy/mm/dd”.
Mistake 2: Forgetting to format the result as a date
When DATEVALUE returns a serial number, Excel may display it as a number rather than a date. To display the result as a date, you need to apply a date format to the cell containing the formula. To do this, right-click the cell, select “Format Cells”, and choose a date format from the “Number” tab.
Why Isn’t My DATEVALUE Working?
If your DATEVALUE formula isn’t working as expected, consider the following troubleshooting steps:
Step 1: Check for invalid date formats
Ensure that the date_text argument is in a format that Excel can recognize. If the date format is invalid, DATEVALUE will return a #VALUE! error.
Step 2: Verify cell references
Make sure you are referencing the correct cell containing the text date. Double-check your formula for any errors in cell references.
Step 3: Apply a date format to the result
If the result of your DATEVALUE formula is displayed as a number, apply a date format to the cell containing the formula to display it as a date.
DATEVALUE: Related Formulae
Here are some related formulae that you may find useful when working with dates in Excel:
The DATE function allows you to create a date by specifying the year, month, and day as separate arguments. For example:
=DATE(2022, 1, 15)
This formula returns the serial number for January 15, 2022.
The TEXT function can be used to format a date serial number as a text string in a specific format. For example:
This formula returns the text “15-Jan-2022”.
3. YEAR, MONTH, and DAY
These functions allow you to extract the year, month, and day components from a date serial number. For example:
These formulas return 2022, 1, and 15, respectively.
The TODAY function returns the current date as a serial number. For example:
This formula returns the serial number for today’s date.
The EDATE function returns a date that is a specified number of months before or after a given date. For example:
This formula returns the serial number for the date three months after January 15, 2022.
With this comprehensive guide, you should now have a deep understanding of the DATEVALUE formula in Excel, its syntax, examples, tips and tricks, common mistakes, and related formulae. Happy date converting!