What is Excel TODAY Function?

Excel TODAY function comes under the Date and Time functions in Excel. This function calculates and returns the current date which updates continuously whenever a worksheet is opened or a calculation is performed by a user.

So, whenever you enter data into a cell or change the data in a cell, TODAY function updates the date and time.

How Excel TODAY Function Works?

The TODAY function returns a serial number that represents the current date and time used by Excel for date and time calculations.

The result displayed will depend on the format of your cells. It can be formatted to display only the date, or both date and time.



Input Arguments

Excel TODAY function does not take any input arguments. It uses an empty parenthesis.

When Excel TODAY Function is Used ?

Excel TODAY function is used when you want to get the current date. It is useful when you need to display the current date on a worksheet or when you want to calculate intervals between two dates.

For example, if you want to calculate a person’s age today from the date of birth, you can calculate using the formula:

             =TODAY( )-DATE(1998,10,2).

Additional Notes

  • In Excel, dates are stored as sequential numbers for easy use in calculations. By default, January 1, 1900 has the serial number 1 and January 1, 2008 has the serial number 39448 because it is the 39447 days after January 1, 1900.
  •  TODAY function continually updates each time the worksheet is opened or whenever a calculation is performed in the worksheet. This means that the date value continually changes based on the current date.
  • If TODAY function does not update when you use it, you can change the control settings from manual to Automatic. To do this;

Go to File tab -> click Options -> In the Formula category under Calculation Options, select Automatic.

  • TODAY function is a volatile function which recalculates often. Thereby increasing the processing time which slows down your workbook.
  • You can use the F9 key to force the worksheet to recalculate and update the current date value.
  • To insert a static current date that does not change, you can manually type the date value or use the keyboard shortcut:

                          Control + ;

How to Use Excel TODAY Function: Formulas & Examples

TODAY function can be used alone or combined with other functions.

Example 1: Using TODAY function Only

TODAY function can be used to get current date, as well as calculate a past date or future date as shown below.

The result of the formula is a serial number recognized by excel that represents the date. You will have to apply date format to the result for Excel to display the date value.

Example 2: Using TODAY Function with Other Functions

Also, TODAY function can be used with other functions to perform other calculations such as time.

As shown above, you can see that TODAY function can be combined with TIME to get the date and time value. Also, it can be combined with EDATE to get the specified past or future date value.

Again, you have to apply the date format to the results to display the date value.

To display the date and time, customize the number format and select any option of your choice or use the Excel NOW function.

Other Related Excel Functions

Thank you for reading Excel TODAY function. You can master Excel by learning other Excel functions.

To learn more, check out these other functions in Excel:

  • EDATE Function

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