# The EDATE Function

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: The EDATE Function.

If you have a need to determine a date that is a known number of months in the future or the past, then the EDATE function can be quick and easy. For instance, if you are working with expiration dates for six-month contracts, you can use the following formula:

```=EDATE(NOW(),6)
```

The function takes the first date provided (in this case, using the NOW function) and uses the second parameter to determine the number of months future or past that should be calculated. The date parameter you use should resolve to a date serial number and not be a textual date.

If you use a negative value for the second parameter, then EDATE calculates a date in the past. For instance, if you wanted a date that was three months in the past, then you could use the following:

```=EDATE(NOW(),-3)
```

EDATE returns a date serial number; you may need to format the cell so it uses a date format that formats the returned value as you want it to appear.

You should note that if the EDATE function does not work on your system, it means you have not installed or enabled the Analysis ToolPak. Install the ToolPak and then you should be able to use the function.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (3186) 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: The EDATE Function.

Related Tips:

Save Time and Supercharge Excel! Automate virtually any routine task and save yourself hours, days, maybe even weeks. Then, learn how to make Excel do things you thought were simply impossible! Mastering advanced Excel macros has never been easier. Check out Excel 2010 VBA and Macros today!

 *Name: Email: Notify me about new comments ONLY FOR THIS TIP Notify me about new comments ANYWHERE ON THIS SITE Hide my email address *Text: *What is 5+3 (To prevent automated submissions and spam.)

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)

# Our Company

Sharon Parq Associates, Inc.

# Our Sites

Tips.Net

Beauty and Style

Cars

Cleaning

Cooking

ExcelTips (Excel 97–2003)

ExcelTips (Excel 2007–2016)

Gardening

Health

Home Improvement

Money and Finances

Organizing

Pests and Bugs

Pets and Animals

WindowsTips (Microsoft Windows)

WordTips (Word 97–2003)

WordTips (Word 2007–2016)

Excel Products

Word Products

# Our Authors

Author Index

Write for Tips.Net