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13 Google Sheets Date and Time Functions You Need to Know

When you use a spreadsheet for things where the timing is essential, you likely include dates and times. Google Sheets offers a collection of functions for formatting, converting, and calculating dates and times to help with your data entry.

You might include dates for customer orders or budgeting and times for hours worked or time spent on a project. Because dates and times can come in all forms, you may need to manipulate these elements to display correctly in your sheet.

Find the Day, Month, or Year From a Date

You may have a list of birthdates, order dates, or similar where you want to extract only the day, month, or year. For this, you can use the same named functions: DAY, MONTH, and YEAR.

RELATED: How to Change the Default Date Format in Google Sheets

The syntax for each is the same as DAY(date), MONTH(date), and YEAR(date) where the argument can be a cell reference, date, or number.

Here, we have a date in cell D1 and use the following formulas to return the day, month, and year:

=DAY(D1)
=MONTH(D1)
=YEAR(D1)

DAY, MONTH, and YEAR for a date

As another example, we have our date formatted as a number within the formula:

=DAY(29418)
=MONTH(29418)
=YEAR(29418)

DAY, MONTH, and YEAR for a number

Get the Hours, Minutes, or Seconds From a Time

Similar to getting parts of a date, you can obtain parts of a time. Using HOUR, MINUTE, and SECOND, you can get the hours, minutes, and seconds from a time entry.

The syntax for each of these time functions is also the same as HOUR(time), MINUTE(time), and SECOND(time) where the argument can be a cell reference, time, or number.

Here, we have a time in cell D1 and use these formulas to get the hours, minutes, and seconds.:

=HOUR(D1)
=MINUTE(D1)
=SECOND(D1)

HOUR, MINUTE, and SECOND for a time

You can also enter a time into the formula within quotes and obtain your results with the following:

=HOUR("10:41:25")
=MINUTE("10:41:25")
=SECOND("10:41:25")

HOUR, MINUTE, and SECOND with the time in the formula

Combine Cells to Create a Date or Time

Maybe the dates and times in your sheet reside in separate cells. For example, you may have the day, month, and year for a date in three different cells or the hours, minutes, and seconds for a time in separate cells. You can combine the cells to create a complete date or time.

RELATED: How to Create a Custom Date or Time Format in Google Sheets

The syntax for each function’s formula is DATE(year, month, day) and TIME(hours, minutes, seconds) noting the date formula requires the year first, then month and day.

Using the following formula, you can combine cells A2, B2, and C2 to form a complete date:

=DATE(A2,B2,C2)

Combine cells using DATE

To assemble a date in the correct format, you can enter the year, month, and day in the formula like this:

=DATE(1996,11,4)

Date elements in the DATE formula

With this formula, you can combine cells A2, B2, and C2 to form a complete time:

=TIME(A2,B2,C2)

Combine cells using TIME

To assemble a time in the correct format, you can enter the hours, minutes, and seconds in the formula as follows:

=TIME(11,23,14)

Time elements in the TIME formula

Count the Number of Days, Months, or Years Between Dates

One way that you may want to work with dates in your sheet is to find the number of days, months, or years between two dates. You can use the DATEDIF function to find one of these three units.

The syntax for the function is DATEDIF(start, end, unit) where you’ll enter the start and end dates in quotes or use cell references. For the unit argument, you’ll enter a letter corresponding to the unit you want to find such as D for days, M for months, or Y for years, each in quotes.

In this first example, we’ll get the number of months between our dates in cells A2 and B2 with this formula:

=DATEDIF(A2,B2,"M")

DATEDIF with cell references

To use the same start and end dates but include them in the formula instead, you’d use this formula:

=DATEDIF("1/1/2021","12/31/2022","M")

DATEDIF with dates in the formula

Calculate the Number of Workdays Between Dates

Rather than finding any type of day, you might want just workdays. You can use NETWORKDAYS to find this number and also account for holidays.

RELATED: How to Find the Number of Days Between Two Dates in Microsoft Excel

The syntax is NETWORKDAYS(start, end, holidays) where holidays is an optional argument that references a cell range or array of dates.

To find the number of workdays between our dates in cells A2 and B2 without holidays, you’d use this formula:

=NETWORKDAYS(A2,B2)

NETWORKDAYS formula without holidays

To use the same cells containing dates but add the holidays in the cell range E2 through E5, you’d use this formula:

=NETWORKDAYS(A2,B2,E2:E5)

NETWORKDAYS formula with holidays

Find the Date After a Number of Workdays

Calculating “business days,” or workdays, is something you might want to estimate a delivery, notice, or deadline. You can use the WORKDAY function to accomplish this.

The syntax is WORKDAY(start, number_days, holidays) where you can optionally include a cell range of dates for holidays like the function above.

To see the end date 10 workdays (B2) after our date in cell A2, you’d use this formula:

=WORKDAY(A2,B2)

WORKDAY formula without holidays

To see the end date for that same date 10 workdays later but also consider the holidays in cells E2 through E5, use this formula:

=WORKDAY(A2,B2,E2:E5)

WORKDAY formula with holidays

Display the Current Date and Time

Two final functions you’ll find useful in Google Sheet are TODAY and NOW. With TODAY, you can see the current date and with NOW, you can see the current date and time. These cells update accordingly each time you open your sheet.

Neither function contains arguments, but you must include the parentheses for each.

To display the current date in cell A1, enter the following:

=TODAY()

TODAY formula

To display the current date and time in cell A1, enter this formula instead:

=NOW()

NOW formula

Working with dates and times in Google Sheets is easy with these functions. Whether you need to grab part of a time, find the number of months between two dates, or always display the current date and time when you open your sheet, you’re covered.

RELATED: 13 Microsoft Excel Date and Time Functions You Should Know



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