How to Use a Google Sheet Date Formula: A Step-by-Step Guide

Using a Google Sheets date formula can be a breeze if you know the right steps. All you need to do is enter the correct formula in a cell, and voila! You can calculate dates, add or subtract days, and even compare different dates. Whether you’re scheduling events or tracking deadlines, mastering this skill is a must for any spreadsheet whiz.

Step by Step Tutorial on Google Sheets Date Formula

Before we dive into the steps, let’s understand what we’re trying to achieve. Google Sheets offers several date-related formulas, but today we’ll focus on the most common ones like TODAY, DATE, and EDATE. By following these steps, you’ll be able to manipulate dates like a pro.

Step 1: Open your Google Sheets document

Open the Google Sheets document where you want to use the date formula.

Google Sheets is easily accessible through your web browser. Just make sure you’re logged into your Google account.

Step 2: Select the cell where you want to enter the formula

Click on the cell in which you wish to input the date formula.

This cell will display the result of the date calculation, so choose its location wisely.

Step 3: Enter the date formula

Type in the date formula of your choice, such as =TODAY() for the current date.

Remember, formulas in Google Sheets always start with an equal sign (=).

Step 4: Press ‘Enter’ to apply the formula

After you’ve typed the formula, hit the ‘Enter’ key on your keyboard.

Once you press ‘Enter,’ the cell will display the date result based on the formula you’ve chosen.

After completing these steps, you’ll have successfully used a date formula in Google Sheets. The cell will now show the result, such as the current date or a calculated date based on the formula you used.

Tips for Using Google Sheets Date Formula

  • Always ensure the cell format is set to ‘Date’ to display the result correctly.
  • Use the DATE(year, month, day) formula to create custom dates.
  • Use EDATE(start_date, months) to add or subtract months from a date.
  • Combine the DATE formula with other functions like DAY, MONTH, or YEAR for more complex calculations.
  • Explore conditional formatting to highlight specific dates or ranges based on your formula.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between TODAY and NOW formulas?

The TODAY formula returns only the current date, while NOW returns both the current date and time.

Can I subtract dates using Google Sheets formulas?

Yes, you can subtract one date from another to calculate the number of days between them.

How do I add days to a date in Google Sheets?

Use the formula =DATE(year, month, day)+number of days to add days to a date.

Is there a way to calculate working days in Google Sheets?

Yes, you can use the NETWORKDAYS(start_date, end_date) formula to calculate working days, excluding weekends.

Can I use date formulas to create a calendar in Google Sheets?

Absolutely! By cleverly using date formulas, you can set up a dynamic calendar that updates automatically.


  1. Open your Google Sheets document.
  2. Select the cell for the formula.
  3. Enter the date formula.
  4. Press ‘Enter’ to apply.


Mastering the use of a Google Sheets date formula is like adding a superpower to your spreadsheet skills. It can save you time, reduce errors, and give you insights into your data that you might not have noticed before. It’s a vital tool for anyone looking to streamline their work, track important dates, or schedule events efficiently. Plus, it’s pretty cool to show off your spreadsheet mastery to colleagues and friends, isn’t it?

With practice, these formulas will become second nature, and you’ll be manipulating dates with ease. Remember to experiment with different formulas and functions to see what works best for your specific needs. And don’t forget, Google Sheets is constantly updating with new features, so keep an eye out for even more ways to work with dates.

So go ahead, open up that spreadsheet, and start playing around with dates. The possibilities are endless, and who knows what amazing insights you’ll discover? Happy spreadsheeting!