Getting the Current Date and Time in Excel - dummies

Getting the Current Date and Time in Excel

Instead of typing the current date and time, you can use one of two Excel functions. The TODAY function returns the current date. The NOW() function returns the current date along with the current time.


Both the TODAY and NOW functions return date serial numbers that represent the current system date and time. The TODAY function assumes 12 p.m. as the time, whereas the NOW function returns the actual time.

It’s important to note that both of these functions automatically recalculate each time you change or open your workbook, so don’t use these functions as a timestamp of record.

If you want to quickly enter a static date that doesn’t change, press Ctrl+; (semicolon) on your keyboard. Pressing Ctrl+; inserts a static date in the active cell.

You can use the TODAY function as part of a text string by wrapping it in the TEXT function with some date formatting. The following formula returns today’s date in Month Day, Year format.

="Today is "&TEXT(TODAY(),"mmmm d, yyyy")