Determining If a Date is between Other Dates

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated May 25, 2019)

3

Johna needs to determine if a particular date is between two other dates. For instance, she may need to determine if November 8, 2018, is between August 1, 2018, and July 31, 2019. She is trying to figure out the formula that will make this determination.

There are actually a wide range of formulas you could use, ranging from the short to the very long. In this tip, though, I'll focus on the shorter formulaic approaches. Before doing so, it is good to remember that dates (and times) are stored internally by Excel as numbers. The portion of the date before the decimal point (the integer portion of the number) is the serial number for the date, and the portion to the right of the decimal place is the time.

Since dates and times are stored as numbers, it becomes a relatively easy task to simply compare the numbers to determine which is higher or lower and if something is between the high and low. For instance, let's assume that you have your starting date (August 1, 2018) in cell A1 and your ending date (July 31, 2019) in cell A2. You could place the date to check into cell D1 and use the following formula:

=IF(AND(D1>=A1,D1<=A2),"Yes","No")

The formula checks to see if the date in D1 is both greater than or equal to A1 and less than or equal to A2. Only if those two conditions are met is "Yes" returned, otherwise "No" is returned. (See Figure 1.)

Figure 1. Comparing numbers to determine which is higher or lower and between the high and low.

If you think that the dates include times, then you may want to adjust for that by stripping off the portion of the serial number that represents the time:

=IF(AND(TRUNC(D1,0)>=TRUNC(A1,0),TRUNC(D1,0)<=TRUNC(A2,0)),"Yes","No")

If you are actually comparing text strings and not recognized Excel dates, then you'll need to use the DATEVALUE function to convert the strings into dates:

=IF(AND(DATEVALUE(D1)>=DATEVALUE(A1),DATEVALUE(D1)<=DATEVALUE(A2)),"Yes","No")

The result of using the DATEVALUE function would be similar to the following figure: (See Figure 2.)

Figure 2. Comparing text strings using the DATEVALUE function to convert strings into dates.

Each of the formulas, so far, has been the same basic formula; the only thing different between them is the adding of additional functions to compensate for the characteristics of how the dates are stored in the cells. For an entirely different way to determine if a date is between two other dates, you could use the following formulaic approach:

=IF(D1=MEDIAN(D1,A1,A2),"Yes","No")

Since the MEDIAN function is calculated using three numbers, it always returns the number that is between the lower and the higher number. This means that if D1 is really between the other two, it will always be returned; if D1 is not between the other two, then one of the others will be returned.

Interestingly, if you reorganized your data a bit so that the three values were adjacent to each other (for instance, by moving the comparison date from D1 to A3), then you could replace the three separate cell references with a range of the three cells, making the formula even shorter:

=IF(A3=MEDIAN(A1:A3),"Yes","No")

The advantage to using the MEDIAN approach to the AND approach is that you don't need to worry which of the range values (A1 or A2) is the start or the end date for the comparison—the MEDIAN function sorts that all out. (See Figure 3.)

Figure 3. Comparing values using the MEDIAN funtion.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (12742) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Office 365.

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

Generating a Table of Authorities

With the entries for your table of authorities marked throughout your document, you are ready to actually generate the ...

Discover More

Specifying a Delimiter when Saving a CSV File in a Macro

You can, within a macro, save a workbook in several different file formats that are understood by Excel. However, you may ...

Discover More

Easily Changing Links in Documents

You may have a lot of linked images in a document, and then one day need to change the links if the location of the ...

Discover More

Solve Real Business Problems Master business modeling and analysis techniques with Excel and transform data into bottom-line results. This hands-on, scenario-focused guide shows you how to use the latest Excel tools to integrate data from multiple tables. Check out Microsoft Excel 2013 Data Analysis and Business Modeling today!

More ExcelTips (ribbon)

Tombstone Date Math

Doing math with dates is easy in Excel. Doing math with old dates, such as those you routinely encounter in genealogy, is ...

Discover More

Pushing Dates Into Last Month

Excel is great when it comes to working with dates and times. You can even do math on dates. One such easy manipulation ...

Discover More

Calculating the Last Day in a Week Number

Given a particular week number for a year, you may want to figure out the date of the last day in that week. There is no ...

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 9 - 4?

2019-07-21 20:19:39

Moi

Hi Allan,

I am looking to create IF function that does the following.

-If the date is less than the reference date it should mark "Not Due"
-If the date is the same or +3 days the reference date it should mark "Ok"
-If the date is more than 3 days the reference date it should mark "late"
-If it is blank or #N/A it should mark as no update

Thanks I hope you can help me with this one.


2019-05-30 09:27:22

Bob Schaettle

Here's a simple solution that doesn't use any date functions:
=IF((A1-D1)*(A2-D1)<0,"Yes","No")


2019-05-27 02:03:49

Gandhi, Shreepad

Thanks. Use of median is really something unthought of...Cheers


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.