Skills level: Beginner
Have you ever wondered why dates are sometimes displayed as a random number? Usually (these days) it starts with a number four, and would be 5 numbers in total.
It almost seems like dates are coded in some way. If you thought that, you are absolutely correct. Each and every date has a unique whole number assigned to it, called serial numbers. If you look at the image above, you will see that the numbers follow each other. 20 Aug 2016 is shown as number 42602 (if not formatted correctly as a date), the following day is 42603 and so on.
This property allows you to be able to perform calculations with dates in excel. Because a date is equal to a whole number, you can subtract dates from each other. For example, you may want to know how many days there are between the 20th of August and the 3rd of October - maybe your holiday starts then and you want to start counting down the days!
Hi, and welcome to my blog :) I am an Excel enthusiast and want to help others keen on improving their own Excel skills. I hope you learn something useful on my blog.