Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Using NOW and TODAY to Calculate the Current Date and Time or Current Date
Using NOW
NOW and
TODAY tto Calculate
Calculate the
the Current
Current Date
Date and
and Time
Time oor Current
There are a couple keyboard shortcuts for entering date and time. Pressing
Ctrl+; enters the current date in a cell. Pressing Ctrl+: enters the current
time in a cell. However, both of these hotkeys create a static value; that is,
the date or time reflects the instant that you typed the hotkey, and it never
changes in the future.
It would be nice if NOW() would function like a real-time clock, con-
stantly updating in Excel. However, the result is calculated when the
file is opened, with each press of the F9 key, and when an entry is made
elsewhere in the worksheet.
Excel offers two functions for calculating the current date: NOW and
TODAY. These functions are excellent for figuring out the number of days un-
til a deadline or how late an open receivable might be.
NOW returns the serial number of the current date and time. TODAY returns
the serial number of the current date. The TODAY function returns today s
date, without any time attached. The NOW function returns the current date
and time.
Both of these functions can be made to display the current date, but there
is an important distinction when you are performing calculations with the
functions. In Figure 11.37 , column A contains NOW functions, and column C
contains TODAY functions. Row 2 is formatted as a date and time. Row 3 is
formatted as a date. Row 4 is formatted as numeric. Cell A3 and C3 look the
same. If you need to display the date without using it in a calculation, then
NOW or TODAY work fine.
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