Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, and 2013. If you are using an earlier version (Excel 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Excel, click here: Incrementing Months in Dates.

Incrementing Months in Dates

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated March 16, 2015)

1

Hiren has a series of dates in a worksheet. He would like to increment the month, so that (for instance) August becomes September in the dates. He wonders if there a way this can be done using Find and Replace.

You actually could use Find and Replace to do the changing. For instance, let's assume that the date shown in the cell range is 8/1/13 through 8/31/13. You could do a search for "8/" (without the quote marks) and replace it with "9/" (again, without the quotes).

There are a couple of problems with this approach, however. First, you'll end up making changes that you probably don't want to make. For instance, 8/18/13 is changed to 9/19/13 because there are two instances of 8/ in the original value. Second, when you change 8/31/13 to 9/31/13, Excel treats the converted date as text rather than as a date because 9/31 is not a valid date. In addition, you'll need to modify what you are searching for and replacing with based upon how the date is formatted in the cells.

A better solution is to use a formula to do the incrementing. The function you want to use for this purpose is EDATE, as shown here:

=EDATE(A1,1)

The formula works great at incrementing the month. You need to understand how the function works when the result of incrementing the month results in an invalid date. For instance, if the original date is 8/31/13 and you use the formula, it returns 9/30/13, the last valid day in September.

If you want, instead, to see an error when trying to increment, then the formula can be adjusted to compensate:

=IF(DAY(EDATE(A1,1))<DAY(A1),NA(),EDATE(A1,1))

This formula compares the date of the converted date to the day of the original date, and if they are not the same then it returns an #N/A error.

If you want, instead, to have the invalid date "fall over" to the next month (so that 8/31/13, when incremented, becomes 10/1/13), then you can use a different formula that doesn't rely on EDATE:

=DATE(YEAR(A1),MONTH(A1)+1,DAY(A1))

This formula will, interestingly enough, handle the "end of the year wrap" correctly. Thus, an original date in A1 of 12/1/13 will become 13/1/13 which is translated by Excel as 1/1/14.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (9265) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, and 2013. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Incrementing Months in Dates.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Previewing Your Web Page

Need to see what your document would look like as a Web page? Word allows you to get a glimpse by using the Web Page Preview ...

Discover More

Deriving the Worksheet Name

Excel doesn't provide an easy way to grab the worksheet name for use within a worksheet. Here are some ideas on ways you can ...

Discover More

Identifying the Last Cell Changed in a Worksheet

When someone changes a cell in a worksheet, Excel normally goes along its merry way of keeping everything up to date. It does ...

Discover More

Excel Smarts for Beginners! Featuring the friendly and trusted For Dummies style, this popular guide shows beginners how to get up and running with Excel while also helping more experienced users get comfortable with the newest features. Check out Excel 2013 For Dummies today!

More ExcelTips (ribbon)

Counting Month Ends

When working with dates in a worksheet, you may need to do some rather esoteric calculations on those dates. This tip looks ...

Discover More

Entering Dates without Separators

When doing data entry into a worksheet, you might want to enter dates without the need to type the separators that are ...

Discover More

Calculating a Group Retirement Date

Calculating a retirement date can be as simple as doing some date math to see when a person reaches a certain age. ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 3 + 8?

2016-11-14 09:29:29

Stefan

This formula is great, works fine for me:
=EDATE(A1,1)
I have not found it at other sites.


This Site

Got a version of Excel that uses the ribbon interface (Excel 2007 or later)? This site is for you! If you use an earlier version of Excel, visit our ExcelTips site focusing on the menu interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.