DATEVALUE: Google Sheets Formula Explained


The DATEVALUE formula is a valuable tool in Google Sheets that allows users to convert text dates into a numerical format, making them easier to work with and analyze. Whether you're calculating durations, sorting data chronologically, or performing complex date calculations, understanding how to use the DATEVALUE formula is crucial for effectively managing your spreadsheet. In this blog post, we will explore the syntax and usage of the DATEVALUE formula, empowering you to harness its power and enhance your data analysis capabilities.

Key Takeaways

  • The DATEVALUE formula in Google Sheets is essential for converting text dates into a numerical format for easier analysis and calculation.
  • Understanding the syntax of the DATEVALUE formula is crucial, as it requires dates in specific formats ("dd/mm/yyyy" or "mm/dd/yyyy") and does not accept other formats.
  • Once converted into a serial number format, the DATEVALUE formula allows for various calculations and can be used with other functions to perform complex date-related tasks.
  • Common errors and issues with the DATEVALUE formula can be resolved by checking for correct date formats and ensuring the date is valid.
  • The DATEVALUE formula has advantages such as simplicity, compatibility with other functions, and the ability to handle a wide range of date formats, but it also has limitations in recognizing non-date inputs or converting invalid text strings.

Understanding the Syntax of DATEVALUE

In Google Sheets, the DATEVALUE formula plays a crucial role in converting a date in text format into a serial number format recognized by the platform. This formula is incredibly useful in various scenarios, particularly when dealing with date-related calculations and analysis. In this chapter, we will explore the syntax of the DATEVALUE formula in detail, including its required input format and limitations.

A. Converting Text to Serial Number

The primary function of the DATEVALUE formula is to convert a date written in text format into a serial number format. This serial number is the internal representation of the date in Google Sheets, making it easier for the platform to perform calculations.

For example, if you have a date written as "31/12/2022" in text format, using the DATEVALUE formula will convert it into the serial number 44668. This serial number is based on the underlying system used by Google Sheets to store and handle dates.

B. Required Date Format

When using the DATEVALUE formula, it is crucial to provide the date in a specific format. The accepted formats for the date input are "dd/mm/yyyy" and "mm/dd/yyyy". The formula relies on these formats to accurately interpret the provided date and convert it into its corresponding serial number.

For example, if you want to convert the date "05/21/2023" into a serial number using the DATEVALUE formula, you must ensure that the date is written in the "mm/dd/yyyy" format. Providing the date as "21/05/2023" will result in an error, as it does not match the required format.

C. Limitations of DATEVALUE

It is important to note that the DATEVALUE formula does not accept dates in any other format besides "dd/mm/yyyy" and "mm/dd/yyyy". If you attempt to use a different format, the formula will return an error, indicating an invalid date format.

For instance, if you try to convert a date written as "2023-05-21" using the DATEVALUE formula, it will not work. This is because the formula strictly adheres to the accepted formats and does not recognize alternative date formats.

Therefore, it is crucial to ensure that the date input meets the required format before using the DATEVALUE formula in Google Sheets.

Using DATEVALUE to Perform Calculations

DATEVALUE is a powerful formula in Google Sheets that allows users to convert a date into a serial number format, which can then be used for various calculations. This functionality provides a great deal of flexibility and convenience when working with dates and performing arithmetic operations.

Conversion of Dates into Serial Numbers

When a date is converted into a serial number format using the DATEVALUE formula, it opens up a whole new realm of possibilities for calculations. This conversion essentially assigns a numeric value to each date, allowing it to be manipulated using simple arithmetic operations.

Performing Arithmetic Operations with Dates

One of the primary advantages of the DATEVALUE formula is its ability to perform basic arithmetic operations with dates. By using simple addition (+) or subtraction (-) operations, users can add or subtract dates effortlessly, producing accurate results. This makes it incredibly convenient for calculating durations, finding future or past dates, and performing other date-related calculations.

Integration with Other Formulas and Formatting Options

The calculated results obtained with the DATEVALUE formula can be seamlessly integrated into other formulas, allowing users to build complex calculations involving dates. In addition, the results can also be formatted to display in a desired format using various formatting options available in Google Sheets. Users can choose to display dates in different regional formats, apply custom date formats, or even convert them into text strings based on specific requirements.

Overall, the DATEVALUE formula in Google Sheets provides a versatile and efficient way to perform calculations with dates. Its ability to convert dates into serial numbers, perform arithmetic operations, and integrate with other formulas and formatting options makes it an indispensable tool for anyone working with dates in spreadsheets.

Handling Common Errors and Issues

When working with the DATEVALUE formula in Google Sheets, it is important to be aware of potential error messages and issues that may arise. This section will address common error messages, provide troubleshooting tips, and explain potential problems related to date formats and external sources.

A. Common Error Messages

1. #VALUE!

This error message occurs when the value provided to the DATEVALUE formula is not a valid date format. It may occur if the input is a text string that does not follow a recognized date format.

2. #NUM!

The #NUM! error message is usually displayed when the input provided to the DATEVALUE formula is not a valid number. This can happen if the input is a numeric value that does not correspond to a valid date.

B. Troubleshooting Tips

To resolve common issues and errors with the DATEVALUE formula, consider the following troubleshooting tips:

  • Check for correct date formats: Ensure that the date provided follows a recognized format, such as "MM/DD/YYYY" or "DD/MM/YYYY". Using an incorrect date format can lead to errors.
  • Verify the validity of the date: Double-check that the date entered is a valid date. For example, February 30th is not a valid date and will result in an error. Ensure that the day, month, and year values are within the appropriate ranges.
  • Convert text to date: If the input to the DATEVALUE formula is a text string, make sure to convert it to a date format using functions like DATE, DAY, MONTH, and YEAR as required.
  • Use the appropriate locale: If dealing with dates in different languages, ensure that the appropriate locale is set in Google Sheets to avoid any misinterpretation of the date format.

C. Issues with Date Location and External Sources

The DATEVALUE formula may encounter problems if the date is located in a different cell or imported from external sources. Some potential issues include:

  • Referencing the correct cell: Double-check that the cell reference used in the DATEVALUE formula is accurate. If the date is located in a different cell, ensure that the correct cell reference is used.
  • Formatting issues in external sources: When importing dates from external sources, such as CSV files or databases, formatting issues are common. Ensure that the imported dates are in a recognizable format or apply appropriate conversion functions to modify the format as needed.
  • Time zone discrepancies: If dealing with dates from different time zones, consider the potential impact on the date displayed. Adjustments may be necessary to ensure accurate calculations and interpretations.

Applying DATEVALUE in Practical Scenarios

The DATEVALUE formula in Google Sheets is a powerful tool that allows users to convert text representing a date into a numerical format recognized by the spreadsheet application. This formula opens up a world of possibilities for manipulating and analyzing dates in various practical scenarios. Below, we will explore some real-life examples where the DATEVALUE formula can be useful:

Showcasing Real-Life Examples

1. Tracking Project Deadlines: When managing a project, it is crucial to keep track of deadlines. By using the DATEVALUE formula, you can easily convert the textual representation of your project deadlines into a numerical format. This conversion makes it possible to perform calculations, such as determining the number of days remaining until a deadline or calculating the average time required to complete tasks.

2. Calculating Loan Durations: For financial purposes, accurately calculating the duration of a loan is essential. By using the DATEVALUE formula, you can convert the start and end dates of a loan into a numerical format. This enables you to calculate the exact duration of the loan, including any partial periods, and perform further calculations like interest calculations or monthly repayment amounts.

Demonstrating Formula Combination

The DATEVALUE formula becomes even more powerful when used in conjunction with other functions to perform complex calculations. Here are a couple of examples:

1. Using SUMIFS: Suppose you have a spreadsheet with a column of dates, and another column with corresponding values. You want to calculate the sum of values for a specific date range. By combining the DATEVALUE formula with the SUMIFS function, you can easily achieve this. The DATEVALUE formula converts the dates to a numerical format that can be used in the SUMIFS function to sum the values within the specified date range.

2. Using COUNTIFS: Similar to the previous example, you might want to count the number of occurrences that meet certain criteria within a date range. The DATEVALUE formula can be used to convert the textual dates into numeric values, allowing you to use the COUNTIFS function to count the occurrences based on specific conditions.

Emphasizing Versatility and Efficiency

The DATEVALUE formula in Google Sheets is a versatile and efficient tool for handling date-related tasks. It simplifies the conversion of textual dates into a numerical format, enabling users to perform various calculations and manipulations with ease. Whether it's tracking project deadlines, calculating loan durations, or performing complex calculations using other functions, the DATEVALUE formula offers flexibility and efficiency for date-related data analysis.

Advantages and Limitations of DATEVALUE

A. Advantages of Using the DATEVALUE Formula

The DATEVALUE formula in Google Sheets offers several advantages that make it a valuable tool for working with dates.

  • Simplicity: The DATEVALUE function is easy to use, making it accessible to users with varying levels of expertise in Google Sheets.
  • Compatibility: DATEVALUE works seamlessly with other Google Sheets functions, allowing users to perform complex calculations and manipulations involving dates.

B. Handling a Wide Range of Date Formats

One of the notable strengths of the DATEVALUE formula is its ability to handle a variety of date formats. This flexibility enables users to work with dates in different locales and adapt to various date conventions.

C. Limitations of DATEVALUE

While DATEVALUE offers numerous benefits, it is essential to be aware of its limitations in order to use it effectively.

  • Inability to Recognize Non-Date Inputs: DATEVALUE is designed specifically to convert valid dates. It cannot recognize or convert non-date inputs, such as text strings or numerical values unrelated to dates. It is important to ensure that the input to the DATEVALUE formula strictly conforms to a valid date format for accurate results.
  • Inability to Convert Invalid Dates: DATEVALUE relies on the correct representation of valid dates. It cannot convert text strings that do not represent valid dates, resulting in errors or unexpected outcomes. Users must exercise caution when using the formula and ensure that the input is a valid date format to avoid inaccuracies.


In conclusion, the DATEVALUE formula in Google Sheets is a powerful tool for manipulating and analyzing dates. It allows users to convert text representations of dates into a numerical format, making it easier to perform calculations and comparisons. Throughout this blog post, we discussed the key points of the DATEVALUE formula and its importance in Google Sheets.

We highly encourage readers to experiment with the DATEVALUE formula in their own spreadsheets. By doing so, they can unlock the full potential of this formula and streamline their data analysis processes.

If you're eager to learn more about Google Sheets formulas, there are numerous resources available for further exploration. Check out Google's official documentation on formulas and functions, as well as online tutorials and forums where you can find practical examples and tips from experienced users. The more you delve into the world of Google Sheets formulas, the more proficient you'll become in utilizing them to enhance your productivity and data analysis skills.

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