How to Use the DATE Formula in Google Sheets

Last Updated on April 15, 2023 by Jake Sheridan

In this tutorial, you will learn how to use the DATE formula in Google Sheets.

How to Use the DATE Formula in Google Sheets

The DATE formula in Google Sheets is a powerful tool that can help you programmatically create date values in your spreadsheet.

With the DATE formula, you can indicate the specific day, month, and year for your chosen date.

You can also use the DATE function to create date values from other inputs in your sheet. For example, users can input a number in a particular cell and that input will be used as the day, month, or year for a particular date.

After generating a date value with DATE, the user can specify the format to display the date with using custom number formatting.

In this guide, we will explain how to use the DATE formula in Google Sheets, with a few examples to get you started.

How to Insert a Date in Google Sheets with the DATE Function

Here’s how to insert a date in Google Sheets with the DATE function.

Step 1

First, select an empty cell to place the DATE formula.

Step 2

Type “=DATE(“ to start the DATE formula.

Step 3

Indicate the year, month, and date of the desired date, in that order.

Hit the Enter key to return the date in your spreadsheet.

Date values are essentially serialized numbers that are written in a specified date format. For example, the date seen above is equivalent to the number 36140.

Google Sheets uses the date December 30, 1899 as the date with an equivalent value of 0. When referring to dates before December 30, 1899, Google Sheets uses negative numbers instead.

Step 4

The user can add custom date and time formatting to change the way the date appears on screen.

Step 5

Select a preferred date format or create a custom one by using the provided textbox. Click on Apply to proceed.

Step 6

For example, we were able to change the given date from “12/11/1998” to “December 11, 1998”

Do note that the formatting only changes how the date is displayed, the underlying date value will remain unchanged.

Step 7

We can also use other functions alongside the DATE function.

In the example above, we used the YEAR, MONTH, and TODAY functions to find the first day of the current month.

Summary

This guide should be everything you need to use the DATE formula in Google Sheets.

You may make a copy of this example spreadsheet to test it out on your own.