NOW & TODAY

The functions TODAY and NOW are 2 functions extremely important.

They allow you to create dynamic workbooks using the system date on your computer.

We will use these functions to create workbooks such as

  • Automatic calendar
  • Worker timesheet
  • Follow-up of supplier payments
  • Delivery delays
  • ...

Presentation of the functions

To view the current day, use the following formula

=TODAY()

To display the date and the time, you should use the following formula.

=NOW()

NOW and TODAY
NOW and TODAY

Remarks:

  • Parentheses are compulsory even if the function doesn't expect any parameter.
  • The cell is automatically formatted in date.

Why use a function instead of writing the date?

Yes, why use a function when it is easier to enter the date directly in a cell? And even better with the shortcut CTRL+ ; (control key + semicolon)

Unfortunately, this date will not change any more because it is written in hard copy.

While writing either TODAY or NOW, the date will automatically change day after day 😍😍😍

Exercise with the function TODAY

What is the point of using TODAY or NOW in a worksheet?

This function is very useful for automatically calculating date gap, such as

  • Birthday
  • Payback period
  • Invoicing delay

In the example, you have some customers who have not yet paid their bills 😡 (the date in column C is empty).

So, in case the cell containing the payment dates is empty, we will use the current date.

We will first create a test if the date is empty or not. So here the result is TRUE or FALSE but we are going to change that.

=C5=""

If the date is empty (previous test = TRUE), then we will perform a subtraction between the current date, returns by TODAY, and the date of order.

=TODAY()-B5

Finally, we put these two elements in an IF function

=IF(C5="",TODAY()-B5,"")

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.excel-exercise.com/now-today/


4 comments

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    • David on 13/04/2018 at 23:54
    • Reply

    How can I use =now() to show date and standard time, not military time?

    1. It depends of the local setting of windows (regional format)

    • Sascha Gallardo on 11/02/2018 at 07:49
    • Reply

    I need a formula that checks whether today's date is at the beginning of the week or in the middle. I'm creating a weekly attendance sheet that's being printed. Sometimes I need to print it in the middle of the week, and the sheet starts with that day's name and date: What I have now is this (showing three cells of each)

    =TEXT(WEEKDAY(C3;1);"dddd") || =TEXT(WEEKDAY(E3;1);"dddd") || =TEXT(WEEKDAY(G3;1);"dddd")
    TODAY() || TODAY()+1 || TODAY()+2

    Can you help?

      • Sascha Gallardo on 11/02/2018 at 07:55
      • Reply

      BTW, nice touch to use my computer's settings to show the actual formula!

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