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Excel 2003 Essential Training with Mark Swift is a movie-based workshop for users who are new to working with spreadsheets, or those wanting to improve their skills. This workshop begins with a basic overview of the application and quickly advances to cover useful formulas, functions, techniques for enhancing spreadsheets, charts, and much more. Exercise files accompany the training, allowing you to follow along and learn at your own pace.
Now let's take a quick look at dates. With times and dates, there's always two versions of the story. There's the ones that we as humans look at and recognize easily and there's the one that the computer wants to look at. The computer version is referred to as a serial number, whereas a format a human enjoys looking at may contain text. Example, the 4th of January 2003 as opposed to a 01/04/2003. For that reason, there are a lot of functions built into Excel to convert hours into serial numbers or minutes into serial numbers or entire time values into serial numbers based on their text. So if you do come across a date that says January 1st, 2003 you can easily use a function code to convert that into a serial number format. The dates you're looking at now qualify as serial numbers, and they're very simple to build mathematical statements around. Let's take a look at this statement. This is a little-known gem that's hidden deep behind Microsoft Excel. It was added years ago for compatibility purposes and really is an undocumented feature. The DateDiff function is one of the few easy and accurate ways to calculate a person's age based on their date of birth. The DateDiff function is looking for a couple of arguments. First of all, what is your starting date? That's the first argument found here, satisfied with the cell reference B2. It's inputting this value. Then we're taking today's date, which is the Today function followed by (). It subtracts one from the other and gives us a rounded year value. That's what the y stands for. Valid values for that third argument are y for the number of years, m for the number of months, or d for the number of days. Of course we're interested in their age, so it rounds up the number of years to a whole value. Let's copy that formula down, and there you can see a very simple formula that calculates their age based on birth dates.
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