DATEVALUE Function

Excel has a number of date functions.  Unfortunately, they don’t all work if Excel treats the date as text.  When working with downloaded data, sometimes the date must be converted from text to a format recognized by Excel.

One method is to use the DATEVALUE function.  This function converts a date in text format to a number that represents the date in Excel date-time code.
Open the exercise workbook and select the Datevalue worksheet.

In cell A1, is the text ‘12/31/11.  In cell B1, type =DATEVALUE(A1)
datevalue 1

The value in cell B1 is the Excel date-time code.  However, it requires some formatting to make sense.
Format cell B1 as a date either by using the Home menu and Number selection or the Home menu Format Cells selection.

datevalue2Format B1 in the date format of xx/xx/xxxx.datevalue3

You can tell that the date in cell A1 is in text format due to its left justification in the cell while the date in B1 is a date by its right justification in the cell.

This is an excerpt from our Must Know Functions for CPAs.

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