Insert Date in Excel

How to Insert Date in Excel?

In excel, every valid date will be stored as a form of the number. One important thing to be aware of excel is that we have got a cut-off date, which is “31-Dec-1899”. Every date we insert in excel will be counted from “01-Jan-1900 (including this date)” and will be stored as a number.


Here we will learn how to insert date in excel with the help of the examples below.

Example #1 – Date Stored as a Number

Take a number of 50, 100 & today’s date, i.e., 30/01/2019 in the excel sheet.

Insert Date Example 1

Now, we can observe the way data is stored in excel when we change the formatting of the above data to date & accounting format.

50 – Change format to short date

100 – Change format to short date

30/01/2019 – Change format to accounting as it already in date format

Insert Date Example 1-1

Here if we observe the number 50 has been changed to date and it displayed exactly 50 days from 01/01/1900 (including this date in the count). Similarly, for the number 100, the date displayed is the exact count from 01/01/1900. And the third observation, which is already in date format and we changed to number format, is displaying “43,495,” which says that today’s date, i.e., 30/01/2019 is exactly 43,495 days away from the cut-off date.

Example #2 – Inserting Specific Date in Excel

In order to insert a specific valid date in excel, we have to use DATE()Use DATE()The date function in excel is a date and time function representing the number provided as arguments in a date and time code. The result displayed is in date format, but the arguments are supplied as more.

Insert Date in excel Example 2

In the above function, we can observe that DATE is asking to provide values of Year, Month, Day. As we give the details of it then this displays the date in default format as below:

Insert Date in excel Example 2-1

In the above example, we had given the year as 1992, month as 10, and day as 30. But the output is displayed as per the default format.

Example #3 – Changing the Inserted Date Format in Excel

As we have seen in our earlier examples, we have got the date displayed in a pre-defined format. In order to change the format of the date, we should go to format cells. Let’s see how it can be done:

Change the Format of Date 3

In order to access the format cells, we should Right-click on the date cell, and then the above list of operations will pop out. Here select the format cell which will take to the “Format cells” window.

Change the Format of Date 3-1

We got the list of a different format for the date as above. Let’s select one of the formats and see how the format got changed as below.

Change the Format of Date 3-2

This is an important feature of formatting, which helps in selecting a date as per their required format for different organizations.

Example #4 – Insert List of Sequential Dates in Excel?

If we want to list out of the sequence of dates, then we can simply do it by selecting the start date and drag it down till you reach the end date as per your requirement.

Insert the date manually (don’t use DATE()).

Sequence of Dates 1

And drag it down as below.

Sequence of Dates 2

Here we got the list of dates in a sequence from the starting date.

Example #5 – Insert Dates with  NOW() and TODAY() Excel Function

In order to get the present-day date, we can use TODAY()Use TODAY()Today function is a date and time function that is used to find out the current system date and time in excel. This function does not take any arguments and auto-updates anytime the worksheet is reopened. This function just reflects the current system date, not the more and get the present day along with the current time, and then we should go with NOW() FunctionNOW() FunctionIn an excel worksheet, the NOW function is used to display the current system date and time. The syntax for using this function is quite simple =NOW ().read more. Let’s see the example below:

uses of NOW() and TODAY()

We also got a keyboard shortcut instead of the formulas.

To get the present date, we should use Alt + ; shortcut instead of TODAY()

To get the present date along with time, we should use Alt + Shift + ; shortcut instead of NOW()

Example #6 – How to Extract Selective Information from the Inserted Excel Date Values.

There are three important functions in excel which help us to extract the specific information from the date. They are : –

  1. DAY()DAY()In Excel, the DAY function calculates the day value from a given date. This function accepts a date as an argument and returns a two-digit numeric value as an integer value representing the given date's day. The formula to use this function is =Edate(serial number).read more
  2. MONTH()MONTH()The Month Function is a date function that determines the month for a given date in date format. It takes an argument in a date format and displays the result in integer more
  3. YEAR()YEAR()The year function in excel is a date function to calculate the year from a given date. This function takes a serial number as an argument and returns a four-digit numeric value representing the year of the given date, formula = year (serial number)read more
insert date example 6

Example #7 – Using TEXT() for Inserting Dates in Excel

TEXT() is one of the very important formulae for a presentation of data into a certain desired custom format.

TEXT for dates in Excel

Let’s assume the dates as per the above example, and we can get the day, month & year, and per the formats that are mentioned in the 3rd column.

TEXT for dates in Excel example 1

By using the TEXT() as above, we can derive as per the format we required.

TEXT for dates in Excel example 2

TEXT() is also used in changing the format of the date to as per our requirement. By this, we can avoid the steps to go to format cells and then change the format. This will also reduce the time consumption when it comes to changing the format.

Let’s see how we can change the format using the TEXT().

TEXT for dates in Excel example 3

TEXT() will also help us in concatenating with a dateConcatenating With A DateTo concatenate a date with other values in Excel, we can use the & operator or the built-in concatenate function. For example, if we use ="ABC"&NOW(), the output will be ABC14/09/ more. When we try to concatenate without using the TEXT() then it will display the number instead of date as below:

TEXT for dates in Excel example 4

By using TEXT(), we can concatenate with an actual date as below:

TEXT for dates in Excel example 5

How to Change the Format of the Inserted Date in Excel?

If we observe from the above example, the date is in the form of MM/DD/YYYY. Suppose if we want to change the format, then we can do it as per below:

We should go to the control panel then select ease of access. We can visualize the option of clock, language & region.

Change Format of Date 1

Click on the above option, and you will pop out to other windows where you get an option of the region and go on that.

Change Format of Date 2

Here we can go on and select the date format as per our requirement, i.e., short date or long date, and this will be the default setting of date once we apply it. In case you want to go back to the previous format, then we can reset it on the same window.

Things to Remember

Inserting a valid date in excel should always be stored as a number. We can verify this condition by using ISNUMBER()ISNUMBER()ISNUMBER function in excel is an information function that checks if the referred cell value is numeric or more.

Let us take the date in two different formats, as shown above. As we know that inserting a valid date in excel should always be stored in the format of the number, so we need to verify the same.

As we check for the number using ISNUMBER()ISNUMBER()ISNUMBER function in excel is an information function that checks if the referred cell value is numeric or more, the date which is stored in the form of the number and a valid date will be “TRUE” or else “FALSE.”

In our example above :

  • 30/01/2019 – This is TRUE as it is stored in the form of a number, and this date is valid
  • 30.01.2019 – This is FALSE, as it is not stored in the form of the number, and it is not valid.

This has been a guide to Insert Date in Excel. Here we discuss how to insert dates in excel along with the top 7 examples using a combination of DATE(), NOW(), TODAY(), and TEXT() Function. You may also look at these useful functions in excel –

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