How to Select an Excel Function That Takes No Arguments

By Ken Bluttman

Some functions in Excel return a value, period. No arguments are needed for these functions. This means you don’t have to have some arguments ready to go. What could be easier? Here’s how to enter a function that does not take any arguments. The TODAY function is used in this example:

  1. Position the cursor in the cell where you want the results to appear.

  2. Click the Insert Function button on the Ribbon to open the Insert Function dialog box.

  3. Select All in the Or Select a Category drop-down menu.

  4. Scroll through the Select a Function list until you see the TODAY function, and click it.

    This figure shows what the screen looks like.

    Selecting a function.

    Selecting a function.
  5. Click the OK button.

    The Insert Function dialog box closes, and the Function Arguments dialog box opens. The dialog box tells you that function does not take any arguments. This figure shows how the screen looks now.

    Confirming that no arguments exist with the Function Arguments dialog box.

    Confirming that no arguments exist with the Function Arguments dialog box.
  6. Click the OK button.

    Doing this closes the Function Arguments dialog box, and the function entry is complete.

You may have noticed that the Function Arguments dialog box says that the Formula result will equal Volatile. This is nothing to be alarmed about! This just means the answer can be different each time you use the function. For example, TODAY will return a different date when used tomorrow.

The following figure shows how the function’s result has been returned to the worksheet. Cell B2 displays the date when the example was written. The date you see on your screen is the current date.

Populating a worksheet cell with today's date.

Populating a worksheet cell with today’s date.

Most functions do take arguments. The few that do not take arguments can return a result without needing any information. For example, the TODAY function just returns the current date. It doesn’t need any information to figure this out.