Excel TODAY Function

Using the Excel TODAY Function


The TODAY function in Excel is used to return the current date. The cell in which the function is entered will show the Date format if it was in General format prior to entering the function. To view the serial number, change the format from Date to Number in the ribbon. The TODAY function is useful when you require a spreadsheet to provide the current date each time it is accessed. TODAY can also be used as an input for other functions or formulas.



Syntax Breakdown

TODAY is one of the special functions that does not require any input. NOW is another function that does not require any input.

Usage Notes

Finding Past and Future Dates with TODAY
TODAY is designed to provide you with the current date each time the function is executed. If you need to determine a date in the past or future this can be accomplished by adding or subtracting from the function.

TODAY Past and Future Dates

Manually Updating TODAY
The TODAY function should automatically update each time the workbook is opened. Pressing F9 while you are working in the spreadsheet will cause it to refresh. This will force the spreadsheet to recalculate and update the values.

Using TODAY in Other Functions
Excel's TODAY function can be used by itself or with another function or formula. For example, let's assume that you are trying to find out how old your grandfather is today. You know he was born in 1935. Passing the TODAY function to YEAR and subtracting 1935 will solve this for you.

TODAY in other functions

You could also use TODAY in other functions such as MONTH


and DAY.


Spreadsheet Not Updating When Opened
If TODAY is not updating automatically when you access the spreadsheet you can resolve this issue in Excel's Control Panel. Access the Control Panel by going to File > Options. A new window will open. Select Formulas from the left options menu. Select Automatic from the Workbook Calculation section.

Excel TODAY Calculation Update Settings