# DATEDIF Function: Excel, Sheets, Calc and Numbers

DATEDIF function in Microsoft Excel, Google Sheets, and Mac Numbers that returns the number of days, months, or years between two dates.

It is a built-in function for “Date Difference.” It calculates the difference between two dates in various units, such as days, months, or years.

In the world of spreadsheets and data analysis, time is often of the essence. Whether you’re tracking project timelines, monitoring employee attendance, or managing personal events, understanding the time elapsed between two dates is crucial.

This is where the DATEDIF function comes into play, serving as a valuable tool in Microsoft Excel, Google Sheets, OpenOffice Calc, and Mac Numbers.

The DATEDIF function is a versatile tool used in numerous industries and professions where date-related calculations and analysis play a significant role in decision-making and record-keeping processes.

In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the ins and outs of the DATEDIF function across these four popular spreadsheet platforms.

You can also check out other Spreadsheet Functions like ACCRINT FunctionAVERAGE Function, CEILING Function, MAX Function, MIN Function, NUMBERTEXT, SpellNumber, and SpellNumber Indian Rupees on our Functions Page.

## How To Use The DATEDIF Function in Microsoft Excel?

The DATEDIF function in Microsoft Excel stands as a powerful tool for calculating the difference between two dates in various date units, such as days, months, or years.

Whether you’re determining the duration of a project, tracking employee tenure, or analyzing the age of products in inventory, DATEDIF streamlines the process by providing accurate date-based calculations.

### SYNTAX of DATEDIF Function

=DATEDIF(start_date, end_date, “unit”)

Where:

Start_date: This is the initial date from which you want to calculate the difference.

End_date: This is the date up to which you want to calculate the difference.

Unit: This is a text argument specifying the time unit in which you want the difference expressed. You can find the difference using “d” for days, “m” for months, or “y” for years.

### Steps To Use The DATEDIF Function in Excel

To use the DATEDIF function in Excel, follow these steps:

1. Select the cell where you want the result to appear.
2. Type the formula =DATEDIF( in the cell.
3. Enter the start_date, end_date, and the desired unit (enclosed in double quotes) within the parentheses.
4. Close the parentheses and press Enter.

### Example

Let’s say you want to find the number of complete years between the dates in cells A1 and B1.

Use the following formula in a different cell:

=DATEDIF(A1, B1, “y”)

This formula will calculate and display the number of complete years between the two dates. To get the difference in months or days simply change the unit to “m” or “d”.

## How To Use The DATEDIF Function in Google Sheets?

In Google Sheets, the DATEDIF function serves as a valuable tool for calculating date differences for project timelines, analyzing age, or measuring the duration between two events.

Whether you’re calculating project durations, managing personal milestones, or analyzing historical data, DATEDIF is the time-saving secret weapon you’ve been searching for.

### SYNTAX of DATEDIF Function In Google Sheets

=DATEDIF(start_date, end_date, “unit”)

Where:

Start_date: This is the initial date from which you want to calculate the difference.

End_date: This is the date up to which you want to calculate the difference.

Unit: This is a text argument specifying the time unit in which you want the difference expressed. You can find the difference using “d” for days, “m” for months, or “y” for years.

### Steps To Use This Function in Google Sheets

1. Select the cell where you want the result to appear.
2. Type the formula =DATEDIF( in the cell.
3. Enter the start_date, end_date, and the desired unit (enclosed in double quotes) within the parentheses.
4. Close the parentheses and press Enter.

### Example

Let’s say you’re managing a project in Google Sheets, and you want to calculate the number of days it took to complete a task. In cell A1, you have the start date (e.g., 01/15/2023), and in cell B1, you have the end date (e.g., 02/05/2023). To calculate the number of days it took to complete the task.

Use the following formula in a different cell:

=DATEDIF(A1, B1, “d”)

This formula will calculate and display the number of days between the two dates.

## How To Use The DATEDIF Function in Mac Numbers?

The DATEDIF function in Mac Numbers empowers users to calculate date differences with precision. It’s a valuable tool for a variety of applications, from project management to financial planning. With DATEDIF, you can easily determine the time intervals between two dates in days, months, or years, making it an essential feature for anyone looking to track or analyze time-based data within Mac Numbers.

### SYNTAX for DATEDIF Function in Mac Numbers

=DATEDIF(start-date, end-date, method)

Where

Start-date: The starting date.

End-date: The ending date.

Method: Specifies whether the time difference is expressed in years, months, or days. “D” counts the days between the dates.”M” counts the months between the dates.”Y” counts the years between the dates.

### Steps To Use The DATEDIF Function In Mac Numbers

To utilize the DATEDIF function in Mac Numbers, follow these steps:

1. Select the cell where you want the result to appear.
2. Type the formula =DATEDIF( in the cell.
3. Enter the start date, end date, and the desired method (without quotes) within the parentheses.
4. Close the parentheses and press the Return key.

### Example

Let’s consider a scenario where you’re calculating the age of employees in Mac Numbers, and you want to calculate the number of years between two significant dates. In cell A1, you have the start date (e.g., 01/01/2001), and in cell B1, you have the end date (e.g., 12/31/2022).

To calculate the number of years between these dates, use the following formula in a different cell:

=DATEDIF(A1, B1, “y”)

This formula will calculate and display the age of the employee between the two dates.

## Possible Errors

When using the DATEDIF function in Excel, Google Sheets, and Mac Numbers, there are several common errors that you might encounter. Here are some of the possible errors and how to address them:

#NAME? Error: This error occurs when the spreadsheet application doesn’t recognize the DATEDIF function. To fix this error, ensure that you’ve entered the function name correctly as “DATEDIF” (not case-sensitive). Also, make sure you are using a spreadsheet application that supports this function (Excel, Google Sheets, or Mac Numbers).

#VALUE! Error: This error often occurs due to incorrect argument types or formats. Ensure that the start_date and end_date arguments are valid date values. If they are text, use functions like DATEVALUE to convert them to date format. Verify that the unit argument is enclosed in double quotes for text values (“d”, “m”, or “y”). Make sure the unit argument is one of the accepted values (“d”, “m”, or “y”).
#NUM! Error: This error may occur if the start_date is greater than the end_date. DATEDIF calculates the difference between the two dates, so the start_date should be earlier than the end_date. Double-check your dates and adjust them accordingly.

#N/A Error (Mac Numbers): In Mac Numbers, if you enter an invalid date or an unsupported date format, you may encounter an #N/A error. Ensure that your date entries are in a recognizable date format.

Date Format Issues: Make sure that your dates are in a consistent and recognizable format. Different locales may use different date formats, so be mindful of how dates are formatted in your spreadsheet.

To avoid these errors, double-check your date entries, argument syntax, and the compatibility of the function with your spreadsheet application.

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