11. Manipulating Dates, Times, and Text
Most of the functions this book has looked at so far focus on crunching raw numbers . Excel also provides functions that work with other types of data, however, including dates, times, and ordinary text. For example, although there's no way to "add" one piece of text to another, you may want to pull first and last names from different columns and join them together in a single column. Or, you may want to remove a word that appears in a bunch of column titles. Similarly, you may want to replace a character in a word, capitalize a name , or count the number of letters in a cell . Excel provides specialized functions for all these tasks , and you'll learn about them in this chapter.
Dates and times also have their own specialized functions. These functions perform some indispensable tasks, like retrieving the current time and determining what day of the week a given date falls on. In addition, Excel lets you perform calculations with dates and times just as you would with ordinary numbers. This chapter introduces these techniques, and explains how Excel stores dates and times behind the scenes.