XL2000: Date Returned in a Macro Is Four Years Too Early

This article was previously published under Q213593
This article has been archived. It is offered "as is" and will no longer be updated.
When you run a macro that uses a date from a worksheet cell, the datereturned by the macro may be four years and one day earlier than the actualdate.
A macro returns a date that is four years and one day earlier when youselect 1904 date system in the Calculation tab of the Options dialog box, and one of the following conditions is true:

  • The macro uses the Value2 property when it stores the date.


  • The macro uses a function in the Microsoft Excel application library when it stores the date.
The following macro determines whether the 1904 date system is selected,converts a date to the 1900 date system, and returns the expected date.

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To use the macro, follow these steps:

  1. To insert a new workbook, click New on the File menu, click Workbook, and then click OK.
  2. On the Tools menu, click Options, click the Calculation tab, and then click 1904 date system. Then, click OK.
  3. Type the following dates in Sheet1:
          A1: 7/5/96      A2: 5/11/96      A3: 4/28/96					
  4. On the Tools menu, point to Macro and click Visual Basic Editor. In the Visual Basic Editor, click Module on the Insert menu.
  5. Type the following code into the module sheet:
          Sub DateTest()         'dimension date variable         Dim dDate As Date         'store minimum date in range into variable         dDate = Application.Min(Worksheets(1).Range("A1:A3"))         'display stored date         MsgBox "Stored date" & Chr(13) & dDate         'check for 1904 date system         If Application.ThisWorkbook.Date1904 Then          'convert 1904 base date to 1900 base date          dDate = DateSerial(Year(dDate) + 4, Month(dDate), Day(dDate) + 1)          'display converted date            MsgBox "Converted date" & Chr(13) & dDate         Else            MsgBox "1904 date system is not enabled"         End If      End Sub						
  6. To run the macro, point to Macro on the Tools menu, and click Macro. Select DateTest and click Run.
The first message box appears with a date 4/27/92, which is four years andone day earlier than the earliest date in the range of cells A1 to A3. Thesecond message box displays the correct "converted" date of 4/28/96.
Microsoft has confirmed that this is a problem in the Microsoft products that are listed at the beginning of this article.
Visual Basic for Applications does not automatically detect the 1904 datesystem and convert the date as necessary. If a user selects the 1904 datesystem in Microsoft Excel, and runs a macro that reads a date from aworksheet cell, the difference may be four years and one day (the extra oneday accounts for the leap year). For example, a date of 9/1/96 in the 1904date system may return a date of 8/31/92.

The date system discrepancy may occur in Visual Basic when you select the1904 date system and the macro uses the Value2 property when it stores the date.