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VBA CDate Function – Convert String to Date

This short tutorial will demonstrate how to convert a String to a Date in VBA.

Dates in Excel are stored as numbers, and then formatted to show as a date.  Day 1 in the world of Excel was the 1st January 1900 (Windows default) or 1st January 1904 (Macintosh default) – which means that the 5th August 2021 is day 44413 since the 1st January 1900.   To convert a string to a date in Excel, we first need to convert the string to a number, and then convert that number to the date.

CDate Function

We can use a function called CDate in VBA to convert a string to a date.

Sub ConvertDate()
  Dim dte As Single
  Dim strD As String
  strD = "05/10/2020"
  dte = CDate(strD)
  MsgBox dte
End Sub

As we have declared a numeric variable (dte as Single), the msgbox will return the number that refers to the date entered.

VBA Date MsgBox Number

It is important that we enter the year using all 4 of the year digits (ie 2020 and not just 20), otherwise the number returned might not be as expected.   Excel does not interpret the year part of the date – this is controlled by the Control Panel of our PC.

However, if we declare the variables as a date variable, the message box will return the number converted to a date.

Sub ConvertDate()
  Dim dte As Date
  Dim strD As String
  strD = "05/10/2020"
  dte = CDate(strD)
  MsgBox dte
End Sub

VBA Date MsgBox Date

We can take this one step further and format the date to the type of date format that we would like to see.

Sub ConvertDate()
  Dim dte As String
  Dim strD As String
  strD = "05/10/2020"
  dte = Format(CDate(strD), "dd mmmm yyyy")
  MsgBox dte
End Sub

In this example, we are converting the string to a date, and then back to a string again!

VBA_Date MsgBox DateString

 

If we were to omit the year entirely, Excel assumes the current year.

VBA Date MsgBox DateString NoYear

 

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