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: Incrementing Months in Dates.

Incrementing Months in Dates

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated March 16, 2015)

1

Hiren has a series of dates in a worksheet. He would like to increment the month, so that (for instance) August becomes September in the dates. He wonders if there a way this can be done using Find and Replace.

You actually could use Find and Replace to do the changing. For instance, let's assume that the date shown in the cell range is 8/1/13 through 8/31/13. You could do a search for "8/" (without the quote marks) and replace it with "9/" (again, without the quotes).

There are a couple of problems with this approach, however. First, you'll end up making changes that you probably don't want to make. For instance, 8/18/13 is changed to 9/19/13 because there are two instances of 8/ in the original value. Second, when you change 8/31/13 to 9/31/13, Excel treats the converted date as text rather than as a date because 9/31 is not a valid date. In addition, you'll need to modify what you are searching for and replacing with based upon how the date is formatted in the cells.

A better solution is to use a formula to do the incrementing. If you have the Analysis ToolPak enabled in Excel, you can use the following formula:

=EDATE(A1,1)

The formula works great at incrementing the month. You need to understand how the formula works when the result of incrementing the month results in an invalid date. For instance, if the original date is 8/31/13 and you use the formula, it returns 9/30/13, the last valid day in September.

If you want, instead, to see an error when trying to increment, then the formula can be adjusted to compensate:

=IF(DAY(EDATE(A1,1))<DAY(A1),NA(),EDATE(A1,1))

This formula compares the date of the converted date to the day of the original date, and if they are not the same then it returns an #N/A error.

If you want, instead, to have the invalid date "fall over" to the next month (so that 8/31/13, when incremented, becomes 10/1/13), then you can use a different formula that doesn't rely on EDATE:

=DATE(YEAR(A1),MONTH(A1)+1,DAY(A1))

This formula will, interestingly enough, handle the "end of the year wrap" correctly. Thus, an original date in A1 of 12/1/13 will become 13/1/13 which is translated by Excel as 1/1/14.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (9263) 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: Incrementing Months in Dates.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Making VLOOKUP Trigger a Macro

VLOOKUP is an oft-used worksheet function to lookup values in a data table. If the function cannot return a value, it ...

Discover More

Randomly Assigning Names to Items

If you need to randomly match up items in two lists, there are a variety of techniques you can use. Here are a couple of good ...

Discover More

Sorting for a Walking Tour

Want to sort addresses by even and odd numbers? By using a formula and doing a little sorting, Excel can return the addresses ...

Discover More

Professional Development Guidance! Four world-class developers offer start-to-finish guidance for building powerful, robust, and secure applications with Excel. The authors show how to consistently make the right design decisions and make the most of Excel's powerful features. Check out Professional Excel Development today!

MORE EXCELTIPS (MENU)

Finding the Dates for Minimums and Maximums

If you use Excel to maintain a collection of data, you may need to find information in one column based on information in an ...

Discover More

Calculating a Group Retirement Date

Calculating a retirement date can be as simple as doing some date math to see when a person reaches a certain age. ...

Discover More

Forcing Dates Forward

Want to push a date to some pre-defined day of the month? Here's some ways to force the issue.

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments for this tip:

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is three minus 1?

2014-03-06 12:58:41

Ed

Thanks, this tip "=DATE(YEAR(A1),MONTH(A1)+1,DAY(A1))" was very helpful!


This Site

Got a version of Excel that uses the menu interface (Excel 97, Excel 2000, Excel 2002, or Excel 2003)? This site is for you! If you use a later version of Excel, visit our ExcelTips site focusing on the ribbon interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.

Links and Sharing