# How to Use TODAY Function in Excel (6 Easy Examples)

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The Excel TODAY function is beneficial when we are required to have the current date illustrated on a worksheet instead of opening the workbook. It is also beneficial for determining intervals. Moreover, this function is important for calculating people’s age automatically. So, I will share the basics of the TODAY function and its uses.

## Overview of TODAY Function

• Summary

The TODAY function returns the current date formatted as a date.

• Syntax

=TODAY()

As we can see from the above picture the TODAY function doesn’t take any argument in its parameter.

Note:

• The TODAY function delivers the current date and will frequently refresh each time the worksheet is updated or refreshed. Use F9 to fix the worksheet to recalculate and update the value.
• By default, this function returns the date in standard Excel date format. You can easily change the format using the Format option per your requirements.

## How to Use TODAY Function in Excel: 6 Easy Examples

Here, I am going to consider the dataset having five columns, B, C, D, E, & F called ID, Products, Price, Delivery Date, & Due Days. the dataset ranges from B4 to F12. I will use this dataset to show six easy examples of using the TODAY function in excel. ### 1. Finding the Difference Between Days Using TODAY Function

We can easily find out the difference between days from any specific date and today using this function. Let’s have a dataset of products with theirs. However, we will find out the due days from the delivery date to today. Steps:

• First, enter the formula in cell F4.
`=TODAY()-E4` • Then, Fill handle it down up to F11. • As a result, you will find the final outcome. Note:

• Make sure the Due days column is in general format.

### 2. Find Months Since or Before a Certain Date Using TODAY Function

Now we will see how to get a number of months difference using the TODAY function. Hence, we will need another function to call the DATEDIF function.

Now let’s say we will find out the Due months from the delivery dates using the same dataset above. Steps:

• Enter the formula in cell F4.
`=DATEDIF(E4,TODAY(),"m")` • Then, copy it down up to F11. • Consequently, you will get the result just like the picture given below. 🔎 How Does the Formula Work?

• As all dates start from the E4 cell that’s why E4 is passed as the first argument.
• Our end date will be today, and we have assigned it using the TODAY function.
• As we want to return the months, “m” is used to get the number of complete months in the period.

Note:

• Make sure the Due days column is in General Format.

### 3. Find Years Since/Before a Certain Date Using TODAY Function

Let’s do the same thing that was done in example 2 but here instead of calculating months, we will calculate years. Moreover, we need to change our dataset for this example. So, here we will have new columns named Received Date and Stored Time (Year). Steps:

• Enter the formula in cell F4.
`=DATEDIF(E4,TODAY(),"y")` • After that, Copy it down up to the F11 cell. • Hence, you will get the following results. 🔎 How Does the Formula Work?

• All the arguments same as example 2 and “y” are used to get the number of years over the period.

Note:

• In cell F6, 0 is printed as the received date’s year is 2021, and the difference between Today and 8/1/2021 is 0.

### 4. Get an Age from Birthdate Using TODAY Function

Let’s have a dataset of office employees. In the dataset, we have ID, Name, and Birthday. But we want to find out the current Age of each employee. However, let’s see how to do this: Steps:

• First, enter the formula in cell E4.
`=YEAR(TODAY())-YEAR(D4)` • Meanwhile, copy it down to E12. • As a consequence, you will get the results like the following picture. 🔎 How Does the Formula Work?
• YEAR(TODAY()) this portion extracts the year from the current date and YEAR(D4) which is from the birthday.
• Lastly, YEAR(TODAY())-YEAR(D4) this formula will determine the year differences.

Note:

• Make sure the Due days column is in General Format.

### 5. Highlight Today’s Date in Excel Using TODAY Function

Now let’s see how we can highlight today’s dates. For this let’s consider the same dataset used in example 3. But here we will only highlight those dates which are equal to today’s date. So, we will use conditional formatting. Steps:

• Select the dates.
• Then, go to the Home tab and select Conditional Formatting under the Styles section. • After that, select the New Rules option • Here, select the marked 1 option.
• After that, Enter the below formula in the marked section.
`=E4=TODAY()`
• Then press the OK button. •  At last, see the result. ### 6. Get Any Date Closest to Today Using TODAY Function

Now let’s see how we can get the closest date from any dataset. Again, for this, we will consider the same dataset above. Steps:

• First, enter the formula in cell D14 and press Ctrl + Shift + Enter (As this is an array formula)
`=INDEX(\$E\$4:\$E\$11, MATCH(MIN(ABS(\$E\$4:\$E\$11 - TODAY())), ABS(\$E\$4:\$E\$11 - TODAY()), 0))` • After pressing ENTER you will find the following result. 🔎 How Does the Formula Work?

• ABS(\$E\$4:\$E\$11 – TODAY()): This will find the difference between the given dates and today’s date and returns an absolute difference.
• MATCH(MIN(ABS(\$E\$4:\$E\$11 – TODAY())): this sub-formula matches the minimum absolute difference.
• Lastly, \$E\$4:\$E\$11 is the data range where we will try to find the index value.

## Shortcuts of TODAY’s Function in Excel

Sometimes shortcuts save us time. Shortcuts are useful when we need to do a lot of things in a short time. Here we will see the shortcut steps to define the TODAY function in Excel.

• For Current Date

For this first press, the Ctrl button and then the ; (semi-colon) button

Ctrl + ;

• For Current Time

For this first press, the Ctrl button then the Shift button, and then the ; (semi-colon) button

Ctrl + Shift + ;

• For Current Time

First press, the Ctrl button and then the ; (semi-colon) button then space after that press, the Ctrl button then the Shift button, and then the ; (semi-colon) button

Ctrl + ;      Space then     Ctrl + Shift + ;

## Things to Remember

• Make sure your cell is in the correct date format to use the TODAY function.
• However, if the start_date is formulated in an invalid format then, the EOMONTH function will return #VALUE! indicating an error in the value.
• Make sure your cells are in general format when you are calculating days, months, or years. Otherwise, it will return dates that are not correct for this kind of situation.

## Conclusion

This is all about the TODAY function and its different applications. Overall, in terms of working with time, we need this function for various purposes. However, I have shown all the methods with their respective examples but there can be many other iterations depending on numerous situations. If you have any other method of achieving this, then please feel free to share it with us.

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ExcelDemy Learn Excel & Excel Solutions Center provides free Excel tutorials, free support , online Excel training and Excel consultancy services for Excel professionals and businesses. Feel free to contact us with your Excel problems. Hello! Welcome to my Profile. Currently, I am working and researching Microsoft Excel, and here I will be posting articles related to this. My last educational degree is BSc, and my program was Computer Science and Engineering from American International University-Bangladesh. I am a Computer Science graduate with a great interest in research and development. Always try to gather knowledge from various sources and try to make innovative solutions.

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