How to Create a Day Countdown in Excel (2 Examples)

In this article, we’ll discuss how to use the builtin functions in Excel to create a day countdown of a future event. This day countdown is commonly used to check and calculate the number of days left to start or end of a future planned event, such as birthday, graduation, tour, Independence Day, any sports event, and more.


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2 Suitable Examples to Create a Day Countdown in Excel

1. Use of the TODAY Function to Create a Day Countdown in Excel

Using the TODAY function, we can count down the number of days left to start an event easily. The TODAY function returns the current date displayed in the worksheet and gets updated every time we open the worksheet. This belongs to the dynamic date type that keeps updating while performing calculations. Here is a common template to use.

Create Day Countdown in Excel

In this example, we’re going to make a day count down for the Summer Olympics 2024 starting on 26th July. let’s follow the simple steps below to accomplish this.

 Steps:

  • In cell C3, let’s put the starting date of the Summer Olympics 2024.

Create Day Countdown in Excel

  • After that, in cell B4, put the following formula.
=C3-TODAY()

  • Now, press Enter.

Create Day Countdown in Excel

The output is in the Date format as we subtracted two dates from each other.

  • From the Home tab, go to the Number Format dropdown and choose the General format.

Create Day Countdown in Excel

  • Finally, the Date format is changed to the General format and the number of days left to start the Summer Olympics in days.

  • Moreover, we changed the starting date to the Long Date format to make it more reader-friendly.

Create Day Countdown in Excel

Read More: Excel Formula to Count Days from Date to Today (8 Effective Ways)


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2. Create a Day Countdown in Excel Using the NOW Function

The Excel’s built-in NOW function returns the current date and time in a calculation. We can also use this function along with the ROUNDUP function to display a day count down of the Summer Olympics 2024. In cell B4, let’s put the following formula and press Enter.

=ROUNDUP(C3-NOW(),0)

Create Day Countdown in Excel

Explanation

The ROUNDUP function rounds up a fractional number to the next integer. It takes two arguments-=ROUNDUP(number, num_digits)
We put C3-NOW() function as the number argument of the ROUNDUP function. And we used 0 as num_digits as we don’t want any fraction number of days rather a rounded-up number in the display.

If we normally used the function without the ROUNDUP function, the output would look like this.

Create Day Countdown in Excel

And after converting the number format to the General format of the output, it would return a fraction of the number of days left to start the event.

Read More: 3 Suitable Excel Formula to Count Days from Date


Notes

Let’s say we passed the starting date of an event; the countdown function will start displaying a negative number of days. For example, we can see a countdown for Copa America 2021 that ended 266 days before the date of writing this article.

Create Day Countdown in Excel

To avoid this and show 0 instead of the negative number of days, we need to use the MAX function. The formula is-

=MAX(0,C3-TODAY())


Conclusion

Now, we know how to create a day countdown in Excel using simple formulas. Hopefully, it’ll help you to make your own day count-down dashboard for an event to start. Any questions or suggestions don’t forget to put them in the comment box below


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Al Arafat Siddique

Al Arafat Siddique

Hello! This is Arafat. Here I'm researching Microsoft Excel. I did my graduation from Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology(BUET). My interest in data science and machine learning allured me to play with data and find solutions to real-life problems. I want to explore this data-driven world and make innovative solutions.

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