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How to use the TODAY function in Microsoft Excel

Let's look at some Excel Today function examples and explore how to use the Today function as a worksheet function in Microsoft Excel:

TODAY function


There are so many situations where we need to find out the current date or we can say the future date related to specific date, then, in that case the TODAY function helps in Microsoft Excel to calculate the same.
The Excel TODAY function returns the current date, updated continuously when a worksheet is changed or opened. The TODAY function takes no arguments. You can format the value returned by TODAY using any standard date format. If you need the current date and time, then use the NOW function.
The TODAY function is a built-in function in Excel that is categorized as a Date/Time Function.
When used as a worksheet function, the TODAY function will refresh the date value whenever the worksheet recalculates.


Get the current date.

Return value

A serial number representing a particular date in Excel.

What Does It Do ?

This function shows the current date. The result will be updated each time the worksheet is opened and every time an entry is made anywhere on the worksheet.



Parameters or Arguments

The TODAY function syntax has no arguments.
The reason the TODAY function takes no arguments is that the function obtains its data by reading the computer's system clock.


The result will normally be displayed using the M-D-YYYY format.

Usage notes

  • TODAY takes no parameters, but requires that you use empty parentheses ().
  • The value returned by TODAY will continually update each time the worksheet is refreshed (for example, each time a value is entered or changed). Use F9 to force the worksheet to recalculate and update the value.
  • Returns the serial number of the current date. If the cell format was General before the function was entered, Excel changes the cell format so that it matches the date format of your regional settings. You can change the date format for the cell by using the commands in the Number group of the Home tab on the Ribbon.
  • When you enter TODAY function in a cell it will convert the format of the cell into a custom format (m/d/yyyy).
  • #VALUE! error – Occurs when the given serial_number is not a valid Excel time.
  • If we want to display the date and time, we can format the cell with a date and time format that does display date and time, or we can use the NOW function, which inserts the date and time component.
  • If you need a Date that won't change, you can enter the current date using the keyboard shortcut Ctrl + ;
  • If you need a static time that won't change, you can enter the current time using the keyboard shortcut Ctrl + Shift + ;

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