Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Office 365. 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: The EDATE Function.
by Allen Wyatt
(last updated March 7, 2020)
If you have a need to determine a date that is a known number of months in the future or the past, then the EDATE function can be quick and easy. For instance, if you are working with expiration dates for six-month contracts, you can use the following formula:
The function takes the first date provided (in this case, using the NOW function) and uses the second parameter to determine the number of months future or past that should be calculated. The date parameter you use should resolve to a date serial number and not be a textual date.
If you use a negative value for the second parameter, then EDATE calculates a date in the past. For instance, if you wanted a date that was three months in the past, then you could use the following:
EDATE returns a date serial number; you may need to format the cell, so it uses a date format that formats the returned value as you want it to appear.
ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (9392) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Office 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: The EDATE Function.
Comprehensive VBA Guide Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) is the language used for writing macros in all Office programs. This complete guide shows both professionals and novices how to master VBA in order to customize the entire Office suite for their needs. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2010 today!
Two common worksheet functions used to count things are COUNT and COUNTA. Not understanding how these functions treat ...Discover More
The COMBIN function is used to determine the number of combinations that can be made from a group of elements. This tip ...Discover More
If you need to determine the date of the last day in a month, it's hard to beat the flexibility of the EOMONTH function. ...Discover More
FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."
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.