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How to add days to a date in excel (Easy Formula)

July 21, 2022

Many people often work with Microsoft Excel, where dealing with dates in different formats becomes a common requirement. This is particularly essential for tasks related to scheduling, project management, and various other business activities that involve time tracking. To address this need, Excel provides built-in functions that allow you to easily add days to dates in Excel spreadsheets. In this article, we will provide you with clear and simple instructions on how to achieve this.

Add days to date in Excel

Understanding Date Formats in Excel

Dates are stored as numbers in Excel because it allows for easier calculations and comparisons. You can, for example, add or subtract days from a date, or compare two dates to determine which is earlier or later. The number that represents a date is the number of days that have passed since January 1, 1900, when the Excel date system was introduced. The date January 1, 2021, for example, is stored as the number 44197 because it is 44197 days after January 1, 1900.

Date Formats in Excel

You can use different date formats to change how a date appears in Excel. A date format is a collection of symbols and codes that specify how the date components, such as the month, day, year, hour, minute, and second, should be displayed. In Excel, you can select from a list of predefined date formats or create your own custom date format.

Add Days to Date in Excel: 2  Simple Methods

You can easily add days to a date in Excel by using one of these two methods: the arithmetic method or the paste special method. The arithmetic method involves using a formula that adds the number of days to the date cell. The paste special method involves copying and pasting the number of days to the date cell with a special operation. In this article, we will show you how to use both methods on an Excel spreadsheet.

Basic Arithmetic

This method allows you to add days/weeks/months/years to a date in Excel by using simple arithmetic operators such as +, -, x, or /. Here are the steps to follow:

Step 1: In your Excel sheet, enter some dates in column A. We will use the “+” operator to add days and show the results in column B.

Excel sample dataset with dates

Step 2: Start by entering the Equal sign, “=”, and select the cell that contains the date. In our example, we will use cell A2.

Excel date cell

Step 3: Next, enter the “+” sign followed by the number of days that you want to add. For instance, if your project has been delayed and the new dates are 3 days later, you will add 3 to each date.

Excel add days to date

Step 4: Press “Enter” to allow Excel to formulate the dates with additional days added. You can use the “Autofill” handle to fill the rest of the cells with the same formula.

Excel autofill handle

Step 5: Sometimes, the dates may not appear in the format that you want. This does not mean that the formula for adding days to a date in Excel is not working. It is just because of the default date format that Excel uses. To change the date format, right-click on the cell and select “Format Cells”.

Excel format cells

Step 6: Go to the “Date” tab and select your preferred format. Click “OK”.

Excel date formats

By using this method, you can easily add days to a date in Excel.

Using Paste Special

You can use the paste special feature to add days to a date in Excel without using a separate column or any functions. This feature allows you to perform arithmetic operations directly on the cells. Here are the steps to follow:

Step 1: Suppose you want to add 5 days to the date in cell A2. Find an empty cell and enter “5” in it.

Excel example dataset with dates

Step 2: Copy the cell that contains “5” by pressing “CTRL+C” or right-clicking and selecting “Copy”.

Excel copy cell

Step 3: Select the cell that contains the date you want to change, which is A2 in this example.

Excel select cell


Step 4: On the top right corner, find “Paste” in the ribbon menu and click on it to open the drop-down menu. Select “Paste Special”.

Excel Paste Special

Step 5: In the Paste Special window, select Values from the Paste section and Add from the Operation section. Click “OK”.

Excel paste special window

Step 6: The date in cell A2 will be updated with 5 days added to it. You can see the new date in the same cell.

Excel add days to date using paste special

How to Add Weeks to Date in Excel

You can use the arithmetic method to add weeks to a date in Excel by multiplying the number of weeks by 7, which is the number of days in a week. Here are the steps to follow:

Step 1: In an empty cell, enter the Equal sign, “=”, and select the cell that contains the date.

Excel example dataset

Step 2: Enter the “+” operator to add the number of days.

Excel arithmetic operator

Step 3: To add 3 weeks, multiply 3 by 7 using the “*” operator. The formula should look like this: =A2+3*7

Excel multiplication

Step 4: Press “Enter” and Excel will display the new date that is 3 weeks after the original date.

Excel add weeks to date

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Q1. What is the shortcut key to add days in Excel?

You can use a shortcut key to insert the current date in a cell and then add or subtract days from it. This is how you can go about it:

Step 1: Press Ctrl+; (semicolon) on your keyboard to enter the current date in a cell. This will create a static date value, which means it will not change automatically when you open the workbook on a different day.

Step 2: Type + or - followed by the number of days you want to add or subtract from the current date. For example, if you want to add 5 days to the current date, type +5 after the date value.

Step 3: Press Enter to see the result. You will get a new date that is 5 days after or before the current date, depending on the operator you used.

Q2. Can Excel add dates automatically?

You can use the Fill Series feature to automatically fill a range of cells with dates in Excel. This feature allows you to specify the date unit and the increment for the series. Here are the steps to follow:

Step 1: Enter a date in a cell using the “mm/dd/yyyy” format.

Step 2: Select the cell with the date and drag the fill handle (the small square at the bottom right corner of the cell) over the cells where you want to fill dates.

Step 3: Go to the “Home” tab and click on “Fill in the Editing” group. Select “Series” from the drop-down menu.

Step 4: In the Series dialog box, choose “Date” as the Type and select a date unit from the “Date” unit list.

Step 5: Enter a number in the “Step value” box to specify how many units you want to add or subtract for each date in the series.

Step 6: Click “OK” and Excel will fill the selected cells with dates according to your settings. You will see a series of dates that increase by one month from the original date.

Add Days to a Date in Excel with Ease

This article has provided you with a clear understanding of how easily you can add days to date in Excel with more efficiency, emphasizing the remarkable compatibility between WPS Spreadsheet and Microsoft Office, offering you a seamless and enriched Excel experience. Don't miss the chance to elevate your productivity and download WPS Office today!

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