Date Functions – Using Dates and Times in Google Sheets

The data used in spreadsheets is often a combination of numbers, text, dates, and other data types. Each different data needs to be treated differently inside functions.

Dates require their own set of specialized functions. They work differently than regular numbers requiring the user to take more care when using them in formulas. You can sort them into chronological order or subtract two points in time to find age or duration. You can also use the difference between days as multipliers in other calculations, such as determining interest on a bond. The functions in this section deal with issues that are specific to dates such as extracting only the month number or returning the number of days in a month.

thumbnail for the dates and times in formula video
Video Showing How to Use Dates and Times in Formulas
thumbnail for how dates and times work in Google Sheets video
Video Showing How Dates and Times Work in Google Sheets

Dates and times in Google Sheets work differently than numbers. Spreadsheets need some help to figure out if a value is a date or time instead of just a string of other characters. One key to getting your spreadsheet to recognize date values is using the correct syntax. To see if a date is valid is to run it through the ISNUMBER function. The ISNUMBER function will return a TRUE if the date is valid or a false if it is not. The easiest way to write a valid date is to use slashes such as 10/25/1999 instead of spelling out October 25, 1999.

Leave a Comment