# NOW vs TODAY Functions in Excel (3 Practical Examples)

While working in an Excel spreadsheet, you may have a good thought about the Excel NOW vs TODAY Function. The TODAYÂ Function is used to determine the current date, as in the date one is opening the workbook. This function updates automatically, so letâ€™s say you open the workbook on 1 April 2017, and the TODAY Function will reflect that date, if you next open the workbook on 18 April 2017, the TODAY Function will reflect that date. The TODAY Function does not take any arguments and the syntax is:

=TODAY()

You can use the NOW Function to return the current date as well as the current time. It also does not take any arguments and the syntax is:

=NOW()

So, as you can see, the NOW vs TODAY Function in Excel is a common topic to consider in Excel. Without any further delay, Letâ€™s get started with a few simple examples to show how to use the TODAY Function and the NOW Function.

## NOW vs TODAY Function in Excel: 3 Suitable Examples

We have a spreadsheet showing some data of an employee working for a company. Details such as the employeeâ€™s name, department, and total sales are recorded. The source data is shown below.

### 1. Use of TODAY Function to Find Today’s Date

Here I am going to show the use of the TODAY function step by step.

Steps:

• To show the current date in cell A2, we enter the formula:
`=TODAY()`

• Upon pressing CTRL-ENTER, Excel returns the value of 9/15/2022, which is the current date, at the time of opening the workbook.

• If you open the workbook on the following day, this date would update automatically to 9/15/2022.
• We now want to format this date, to have it appear as a long date, so to do this with cell A2 selected, we go to Home>Number> and then select Long Date.

• Excel returned the date formatted as a Long Date as shown below.

### 2. Application of TODAY Function to Determine Number of Days

We now want to calculate the number of days of the employee hiring, and we could hard code the date into a formula, however, we want the formula to update, so as the workbook, is opened the number of days is updated based on the current date the workbook is opened on.

Steps:

• Â Therefore in cell B7, we enter the following formula:
`=DAYS(TODAY(),B6)`

• Upon pressing CTRL-ENTER we get the valueÂ  3161, which means 3161 days have passed since the hire date of the employee at hand and the current date of opening the workbook which was 15 September 2022.

• Ensure the number format in cell B7 is General, to see the number of days.

### 3. Determine Time and Date by Using NOW Function

We would now like to obtain not only the current date but the current time in conjunction with the date, so we can utilize the NOW functionÂ for this specific purpose.

Steps:

• Â So in cell B2, we type the following formula:
`=NOW()`

• Â Upon pressing CTRL-ENTER we get the current date and time returned as shown below.

• If one wants to format this with a long date format with the time, right-click the cell and choose Format Cells as shown below.

• Â In the Format Cells Dialog Box, select Custom and enter:

dd mmmm yyyy hh: mm

• Â Press Ok and then Excel will show the long date and time as shown below.

And there you have it.

## Difference Between NOW and TODAY Function

• NOW Function returns the instant time and date of a user using the function.
• The TODAY Function returns only the date of a user using the function.

## Things to Remember

• It is important to keep in mind that the TODAY and NOW Functions take no arguments.

## Conclusion

So, at last, I hope that you have a crystal clear idea about Excel NOW vs TODAY Function. The TODAYÂ and NOWÂ Functions take no arguments but are useful for delivering the current date and time. You can utilize them in other date calculations for advanced date and time calculations.

Please feel free to comment and tell us if you often use the TODAYÂ and NOW Functions in your spreadsheets.

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Taryn Nefdt

Taryn is a Microsoft Certified Professional, who has used Office Applications such as Excel and Access extensively, in her interdisciplinary academic career and work experience. She has a background in biochemistry, Geographical Information Systems (GIS), and biofuels. She enjoys showcasing the functionality of Excel in various disciplines. She has over ten years of experience using Excel and Access to create advanced integrated solutions.