Excel Guides

How Excel Stores Dates and Times in Excel

Excel stores dates and times as serial numbers. It is the number of days since January 1, 1900 plus a fraction for the time of day. For example, January 1, 1900 is 1, February 1, 1900 is 32, and so on. Times are stored as fractions of a day. For example, noon is .5, 6 A.M. is .25, and so on.

You can change how a date or time is displayed by changing the number format. For example, the number 42196 might be displayed as "1/11/2018" or "11-Jan-18".

You can use dates and times in calculations, such as adding two days or calculating the difference between two dates. Excel automatically changes the format of the result cell to match the format of the other cells in the formula.

You can also use dates and times in charts and pivot tables. For example, you can create a pivot table that shows sales by month or by year.

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