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Forcing Dates Forward

Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Excel 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Excel, click here: Forcing Dates Forward.

Roger is keeping track of invoices in an Excel worksheet. All of the invoices need to be submitted with a due date of the 28th of the month, and Roger wondered if there was a way to force a date to always "jump forward" to the next instance of the 28th.

The cleanest way to force dates forward is to create a formula that will examine a date in a cell, and then force that date to the next desired date, such as the 28th. The following formula is a good one to start with:


This formula examines the date in cell A1. If the DAY value of the date is greater than 28, then the formula constructs and returns a date that is equal to the 28th of the next month. If it is less than or equal to 28, then the 28th of the current month is returned.

There is an even shorter way to render an acceptable formula, however—one that entirely gets rid of the IF function:


This uses the current year as the year, and the day is always 28. The month uses a Boolean calculation. If the day is greater than 28 then (Day(A1)>28) will be TRUE and will calculate as a 1, thereby adding 1 to the current month. If it is less than or equal to 28 it will be FALSE and calculate as a 0, just calculating the current month.

If you don't want to be "strict" giving some people only a day (4/27/2012 will give a due date of 4/28/2012), you could plan on giving them at least a week with the formula:


This would give the 28th of the current month for the 1st thru 21st, but for later dates it will jump to the 28th of the following month.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (2410) applies to Microsoft Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Excel (Excel 2007 and later) here: Forcing Dates Forward.

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Solve Real Business Problems Master business modeling and analysis techniques with Excel and transform data into bottom-line results. This hands-on, scenario-focused guide shows you how to use the latest Excel tools to integrate data from multiple tables. Check out Microsoft Excel 2013 Data Analysis and Business Modeling today!


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