NOW & TODAY

The functions TODAY and NOW are two extremely important functions. 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()

Remarks:

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

Split date and time

To return only the time, you must perform a deduction as explained in this article to separate the dates from the times.

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
  • Maturity
  • Payback period
  • Invoicing delay

In the example at the bottom of the screen, 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

We put these two elements in an IF function

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

Try in this embedded worksheet

Repro this formula in the following Excel workbook to see the result.

 

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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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