Microsoft Excel provides tons of simple methods to calculate the number of days between two dates. A wide range of functions is available to determine the difference between two fixed dates and here I’m going to show you those useful techniques with proper illustrations & guidance that might fulfill your requirements.
Download Practice Workbook
You can download our workbook here which we’ve used to prepare this article. You can also use this workbook as a calculator. We’ve embedded a number of formulas & functions to help you find your results by inserting or customizing input dates only.
8 Simple & Easy Ways to Calculate Number of Days Between Two Dates
1. Subtraction Method
Let’s think of a number of projects with their launch dates & closing dates. We need to find the differences or the number of days between those two dates.
⇒ Select Cell E5 & type
⇒ Press Enter & you’ll get the number of days between the Launch Date & the Closing Date for the first project.
Here, we’re simply subtracting the Launch Date from the Closing Date.
⇒ Now point your mouse cursor onto the right bottom corner of the Cell E5 & you’ll see a ‘+’ icon there which is known as Fill Handle.
⇒ Click on this icon, drag to Cell E9 & then release the mouse button.
You’ll see the total days for all projects at once.
2. Using DATEDIF Function
We can use the DATEDIF function too to obtain the same results.
⇒ Select Cell E5 & type
⇒ Press Enter & use Fill Handle like before to get all calculated results up to the Cell E9.
So, here in the arguments,
C5 is the Start Date or Launch Date
D5 is the End Date or Closing Date
“D” denotes the parameter- Days; as we’re going to find the number of days between two dates here.
3. Inserting DAYS Function
Another simple method here is to use DAYS function.
⇒ In Cell E5, type
⇒ Press Enter & use Fill Handle once again to find out other results in the column.
You have to input only Start Date & End Date as arguments in the function.
4. Using Text Date Inside the Formula
You can also type two dates directly inside the DAYS function to get the number of days between those two dates mentioned.
But this method is not so effective for a long range of data as it’ll take time to type manually every time
5. Using DATE Function to Input Dates Directly in the Function Bar
And this is another similar method where you have to input dates manually by using DATE functions.
Inside the arguments, the date format will be YYYY, MM, DD
It’s indeed the combination of two methods- Subtraction & DATE functions as we’re subtracting one date from another one by manually inputting dates inside the DATE function arguments.
6. Embedding TODAY Function to Find the Number of Days Between Today & a Past/Future Date
We can use TODAY function to input today’s date directly & then a past date can be subtracted from it to find the number of days until today from that fixed past date.
Now if we want to know the number of days remaining from today before a project’s deadline then we have to subtract today’s date from the deadline dates.
7. NETWORKDAYS Function to Include Weekends & Holidays
NETWORKDAYS function is a very useful one through which we can count the number of days including weekends & customized holidays.
Let’s use the previous dataset again. Now we have to calculate the total working days including weekends & a list of holidays mentioned at the bottom.
⇒ In Cell F5, type
=NETWORKDAYS(C5,D5,$C$11:$F$12) & press Enter.
⇒ Autofill rest of the cells by using Fill Handle.
So, what’s happening here?
Inside the arguments,
C5 & D5 are Start Date & End Date.
$C$11:$F$12 means we’re selecting the holidays from the array(C11: F12) and then locking the Row Numbers & Column Names by using the ‘$’ symbol to make them absolute cell references as we’re going to input those exact holidays every time for all projects.
If you need to be enlightened more about Absolute Cell References then you can have a look at this article to get detailed ideas.
8. NETWORKDAYS.INT Function to Include Customized Weekends & Holidays
And now in the last method, we’ll select weekends according to our own choices.
To do this, we’ll use NETWORKDAYS.INT function here.
⇒ In Cell F5, type
=NETWORKDAYS.INTL(C5,D5,7,$C$11:$F$12) & press Enter.
⇒ Autofill other cells by using Fill Handle.
And we’ve just determined the number of working days including customized holidays as well as fixed weekends(Friday & Saturday) chosen by us.
Here, inside the parentheses of the function, at the 3rd argument(weekend), the option having the serial number ‘7’ has been chosen from the list which contains Friday & Saturday as weekend days.
You can select even only one weekend too by choosing from the list of weekend options.
So, these are all major techniques I’ve found for you and I hope, you’ve found these methods effective enough to use anytime. If you got any questions or feedback you can comment here. You can also have a look at our other interesting articles related to Excel functions.