# DATEDIF in Excel: The Comprehensive Guide

Do you work with dates in Microsoft Excel? If yes, then you might have come across a function called DATEDIF. This function is not very commonly used but can be useful for specific calculations. This article will explore everything you need to know about the DATEDIF in Excel function.

## Introduction

Excel is a powerful tool that can help you make complex calculations, and its DATEDIF function can be useful in many scenarios. DATEDIF stands for Date Difference, and as the name suggests, it calculates the difference between two dates. This function is available in all versions of Excel and can be used for a wide range of calculations.

Let’s dive deeper into the DATEDIF function and its usage.

## Syntax and Arguments of DATEDIF Function

The syntax of the DATEDIF function is as follows:

`=DATEDIF(start_date, end_date, unit)`

Here, the start_date and end_date arguments are the dates you want to calculate the difference. The unit argument specifies the unit of time you want to use for the calculation. There are six units available:

- “Y” – calculates the number of complete years between the two dates.
- “M” – calculates the number of complete months between the two dates.
- “D” – calculates the number of days between the two dates.
- “YM” – calculates the number of months between the two dates, ignoring the years.
- “YD” – calculates the number of days between the two dates, ignoring the years.
- “MD” – calculates the number of days between the two dates, ignoring the years and months.

You need to specify one of these units in the third argument of the function.

## Examples of DATEDIF Function

Here are some examples of how to use the DATEDIF function:

### Example 1: Calculating the Number of Years

Suppose you want to calculate the number of years between 1st January 2010 and 31st December 2022. Here’s how you can use the DATEDIF function for this calculation:

`=DATEDIF("01/01/2010", "12/31/2022", "Y")`

The result will be 12, which means that there are 12 complete years between these two dates.

### Example 2: Calculating the Number of Months

Suppose you want to calculate the number of months between two dates: 1st January 2010 and 31st December 2022. Here’s how you can use the DATEDIF function for this calculation:

`=DATEDIF("01/01/2010", "12/31/2022", "M")`

The result will be 144, which means that there are 144 complete months between these two dates.

### Example 3: Calculating the Number of Days

Suppose you want to calculate the number of days between two dates: 1st January 2010 and 31st December 2022. Here’s how you can use the DATEDIF function for this calculation:

`=DATEDIF("01/01/2010", "12/31/2022", "D")`

The result will be 4748, which means that there are 4748 days between these two dates.

## Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

### Q1. Can I use the DATEDIF function to calculate the age of a person?

Yes, you can use the DATEDIF function to calculate a person’s age. Suppose the person’s date of birth is in cell A1 and the current date is in cell A2. You can use the following formula to calculate the person’s age:

`=DATEDIF(A1, A2, "Y")`

This will give you the person’s age in years.

### Q2. Can I use the DATEDIF function to calculate the number of days between two dates, excluding weekends?

No, the DATEDIF function cannot exclude weekends from the calculation. However, you can use a combination of the DATEDIF and the NETWORKDAYS functions to calculate the number of working days between two dates. The NETWORKDAYS function returns the number of working days between two dates, excluding weekends and any holidays that you specify.

### Q3. Can I use the DATEDIF function to calculate the number of years, months, and days between two dates?

No, the DATEDIF function cannot calculate the number of years, months, and days between two dates in a single formula. However, you can use multiple DATEDIF functions to calculate the difference in each unit of time separately. For example, you can use one DATEDIF function to calculate the number of years, another DATEDIF function to calculate the number of months, and a third DATEDIF function to calculate the number of days.

### Q4. Can the DATEDIF function handle dates in different time zones?

Yes, the DATEDIF function can handle dates in different time zones as long as you enter the dates in the correct format. You can also use the TIME function to add or subtract a specific amount of time from a date.

### Q5. Can I use the DATEDIF function to calculate the number of weeks between two dates?

No, the DATEDIF function does not have a “weeks” unit. However, you can calculate the number of weeks between two dates by dividing the number of days by 7.

### Q6. What happens if the start_date is greater than the end_date in the DATEDIF function?

If the start_date is greater than the end_date in the DATEDIF function, the result will be negative. For example, if you use the following formula:

`=DATEDIF("12/31/2022", "01/01/2010", "Y")`

The result will be -12, which means that there are 12 complete years between these two dates, but in the opposite direction.

## Conclusion

The DATEDIF function in Excel can be very useful in many scenarios where you need to calculate the difference between two dates. It is a simple function to use and can save you a lot of time when working with dates. In this article, we covered the syntax and arguments of the function, as well as some examples of how to use it. We also answered some common questions about the function. Hopefully, this article has provided you with a better understanding of the DATEDIF function in Excel. You can also read these articles if you are interested in these posts.

*I am studying at Middle East Technical University. I am interested in computer science, architecture, physics and philosophy.*

Love,

Cansu