How to Quickly Master VBA FormatDateTime in 3 Minutes (Excel)
Written by Kasper Langmann
The VBA FormatDateTime function is an incredibly useful tool for anyone working with Excel. This function allows you to manipulate and format date and time data in a variety of ways, making it easier to understand and analyze. Whether you’re a seasoned Excel user or a beginner just getting started, mastering this function can significantly enhance your data management skills.
Understanding VBA FormatDateTime
The VBA FormatDateTime function is a built-in function in Excel that is categorized as a Date/Time Function. It can be used as a VBA function (VBA) in Excel. As a VBA function, you can use this function in macro code that is entered through the Microsoft Visual Basic Editor.
The syntax for the FormatDateTime function in VBA is: FormatDateTime(Date, NamedFormat). The function has two arguments: ‘Date’ which is required and represents the date to format, and ‘NamedFormat’ which is optional and specifies the named format to apply.
The NamedFormat argument can have one of the following settings:
- 0 – vbGeneralDate: This is the default. Display a date and/or time. If there is a date part, display it as a short date. If there is a time part, display it as a long time. If present, both parts are displayed.
- 1 – vbLongDate: Display a date using the long date format specified in your system settings.
- 2 – vbShortDate: Display a date using the short date format specified in your system settings.
- 3 – vbLongTime: Display a time using the time format specified in your system settings.
- 4 – vbShortTime: Display a time using the 24-hour format (hh:mm).
How to Use VBA FormatDateTime
Using the VBA FormatDateTime function is quite straightforward. You simply need to call the function and provide the necessary arguments. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to use this function:
- Open Excel and press Alt + F11 to open the VBA editor.
- In the VBA editor, click on ‘Insert’ and then ‘Module’ to create a new module.
- In the module, you can write your VBA code. For example, you can write a simple code to format the current date and time using the FormatDateTime function. Here is an example:
Sub FormatDateTimeExample() Dim LDate As Date LDate = Now MsgBox FormatDateTime(LDate, 1) End Sub
This code will display a message box with the current date formatted as a long date.
Advanced Usage of VBA FormatDateTime
While the basic usage of the VBA FormatDateTime function is quite simple, there are more advanced ways you can use this function to enhance your Excel work. Here are some examples:
Using VBA FormatDateTime with Other Functions
You can use the VBA FormatDateTime function in conjunction with other functions to perform more complex tasks. For example, you can use it with the DateAdd function to calculate future dates and then format them. Here is an example:
Sub FutureDate() Dim LDate As Date LDate = DateAdd("d", 30, Now) MsgBox FormatDateTime(LDate, 2) End Sub
This code will display a message box with the date 30 days from now, formatted as a short date.
Formatting Dates in Different Cultures
The VBA FormatDateTime function uses the date and time formats specified in your system settings. However, you can change these settings to format dates and times according to different cultures. This can be useful if you are working with international data.
Common Errors and Troubleshooting
While the VBA FormatDateTime function is quite robust, there are some common errors that you might encounter when using it. Here are some of these errors and how to troubleshoot them:
Error: ‘Type Mismatch’
This error occurs when the Date argument is not a valid date. To fix this error, make sure that the Date argument is a valid date or a valid date expression.
Error: ‘Invalid Procedure Call or Argument’
This error occurs when the NamedFormat argument is not one of the allowed values. To fix this error, make sure that the NamedFormat argument is either 0, 1, 2, 3, or 4.
The VBA FormatDateTime function is a powerful tool that can greatly enhance your Excel work. Whether you’re formatting dates for better readability, calculating future dates, or working with international data, this function has you covered. With a bit of practice, you can quickly master this function and take your Excel skills to the next level.