Working With Dates In Excel

This week I’ve been working on date formulas, from very simple ones, to complex formulas that calculate workdays per month, based on start and end dates that can span several months.

Extract Information from a Date

Many times I need to pull a bit of information from a date, such as the year, month or weekday.
Here are the sample formulas I’d use. The date — December 29, 2008 — is in cell A2.

To Calculate

The Formula

The Result

Year =YEAR(A2) 2008
Month Number =MONTH(A2) 12
Month Name (short) =TEXT(A2,”mmm”) Dec
Month Name (long) =TEXT(A2,”mmmm”) December
Day of the month =DAY(A2) 29
Weekday Number =WEEKDAY(A2,1) 2
Weekday Name (short) =TEXT(A2,”ddd”) Mon
Weekday Name (long) =TEXT(A2,”dddd”) Monday
Year Month =TEXT(A2,”yyyy mm”) 2008 12

Using the Calculated Dates

If I plan to create a pivot table from data that contains a date field, I usually calculate the year and month in the source data. Then I can add those fields to the pivot table, instead of the individual dates.
Yes, the pivot table could automatically group the individual dates by year and month, but that can limit other functions in the pivot table. For example:

  • if two pivot tables are based on the same data, grouping one pivot table by month would cause the other pivot table to also be grouped by month.
  • if a field is grouped, you can’t add calculated items to the pivot table