Excel has a unique way of storing dates through serial numbers, making it possible to perform mathematical operations to values representing dates. This step by step tutorial will assist all levels of Excel users in generating series of dates by day.
Figure 1. Final result: Series of dates by day
Setting up our Data
Our data contains only one column: Series of dates by day (column B). In cell B3, we enter the reference or start date for our series of dates, “1/27/2019”. We want to generate a series of dates with one day interval in column B.
Figure 2. Sample data to generate series of dates by day
Generate series of dates by day
Excel uniquely stores dates as serial numbers, where the value “1” represents the date January 1, 1900. In order to generate a series of dates by one day, we use simple addition. Let us follow these steps:
Step 1. Select cell B4
Step 2. Enter the formula:
Step 3. Press ENTER
Step 4. Copy the formula in B4 to cells B5:B9 by clicking the “+” icon at the bottom-right corner of cell B4 and dragging it down
Figure 3. Start date incremented 1 day by simple addition
Our formula adds one day to the date right before it in the list. In cell B4, the resulting date is 1/28/2019, which is one day from the start date in B3. For the succeeding cells, one day is added to the date in the previous cell above it.
As a result, we have generated a series of dates by using a formula that increments the date by one day for each succeeding row in column B.
Figure 4. Output: Series of dates by day
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