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Get days before a date

You probably deal with dates a lot while working with spreadsheets. Do you want to learn how to get days before a date in Excel? This blog post will teach you exactly how to do that effortlessly. Just hang on.

How does TODAY function help get days before a date in Excel?

This is an in-built excel function which use the ‘TODAY’ function to calculate the total number of days before a specific date.

In other to get the sum of days before a certain date, you can subtract the specific cell which has the date from the ‘TODAY’ function. The process on how to use this function is clearly illustrated in the further section.



Where “date’ is the date in MM/DD/YYYY.

How does the TODAY function work in Excel?

In Excel, dates are basically received as serial numbers. In Windows, the standard date system is based on the year 1990. Based on this standard, January 1, 1990, is number 1. Also, dates are valid through 9999 which is equivalent to serial number 2,958,465.


In this example, the current date is March 9, 2016. We want to calculate the days from the current date before January 1, 2050.

Figure 1 How to get days before a date using the TODAY function in Excel.

The serial number of the current date is 42,438 while that of January 1, 2050, is 54,789. Using the TODAY function:


= January 1 2050 – March 9 2016

= 54,789 – 42,438

= 12,351

The output can be seen in cell D5. This means there are approximately 12,351 days before January 1, 2050, when counted from March 9, 2016.

How to get days before a date without the TODAY function in Excel

It is not cast in stone that you use the TODAY function. Perhaps you want to get the calculated days before a date (specific) and not the current date, you can subtract both date cells:

Figure 2. How to get days before date without using the TODAY function.


The value of cell D6 is as a result of the above formula.

Concatenating with text

Figure 3. Concatenating with text using the ‘&’ operator In Excel.

You can concatenate the result with texts using the ‘&’ operator:


The result showing the days successfully concatenated with the text can be seen in cell D7.

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