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How to Add Excel Formula for Today’s Date

How to Add Excel Formula for Today’s Date?
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How to Add Excel Formula for Today’s Date

Working on Excel incites you to practice beginner to advanced jobs. No matter what you want to try in Excel, you will find more than enough tools and features in Excel. It’s entirely up to you how efficiently a task has been done using different features. Adding today’s date in a cell while working on a project needs you to go through some hacks.

From the Excel calendar, you may need to highlight today’s date or anything that comes nearby today’s date. You need to find the Excel formula for today’s date by following different rules.

Excel Today Function – Syntax and Basic Uses

As the name indicates, in Excel the Today function simply returns today’s date. And talking about the syntax, it is as simple as it could be. The syntax of today’s date does not have any arguments. In Excel, when you need to add today’s date, you simply have to enter this formula:

=TODAY ()

Also, remember that formatting the value returned by TODAY is possible in a built-in or custom date format.

Things to Consider About TODAY in Excel

If you know what a volatile function is, you must understand that TODAY () is a volatile function that is upgraded consistently, whenever a worksheet is opened and changed.  

If by default, a TODAY formula does not update, most probably you will see automatic recalculation being turned off in the workbook.

To turn it on, try to follow this sequence of operations. First, go to Formulas tab > Calculation Options > select Automatic.

You may use a few keyboard shortcuts as well to add today’s date in the Excel cells as a static unchangeable value.

Using the NOW () function instead of TODAY () is recommended when you need to add the current date and time.

Caution While Adding Today’s Date in Excel

Inserting the Excel formula for today’s date function, tend to launch a dynamic formula that gets updated when you open the spreadsheet. Sometimes, you may have to hardcode the date as it is fixed and cannot upgrade every time the Excel is opened. Doing this lets you save your analysis without the effect of date/time changes.

It is useful when you are working on a project related to financial analysis in Excel.

How to Insert Excel Formula for Today’s Date

Using two different ways, you can enter the current date in Excel. The first one is a formula and the other one is a shortcut. Again, it entirely depends upon you, whether you need a dynamic value or a static one. The choice of value will determine what method you will be using.

Excel Formula for Today’s Date

The value gets updated by default that returns by the TODAY function. That’s why the formula mentioned below is truly effective if you need the worksheet to appear with the current date rather than when you open it.

=TODAY ()

You may have to use concatenate (one of the text functions, to join two or more text strings into one string) TODAY () with some explanatory text in case of clarifying what kind of date it is. For instance:

=CONCATENATE (“Today is “,TEXT (TODAY() , “mmmm dd, yyyy”))

Keep in mind that the internal Excel system tends to manage dates and times as numbers. That’s why if you concatenate text with the TODAY () formula directly, it may come up with a string like “Today is 42965” and it absolutely does not make any sense.

To keep you away from it, the TEXT function is used to support TODAY’s function of Excel to show the date in the wanted format. 

Shortcuts to getting Today’s Date in Excel

Here comes the real-time shortcut keys that can ultimately let you free of any trouble of using different formulas or other functions.

Below are some of the useful keyboard shortcuts:

To insert Today’s date = CTRL + ;

To insert the current time = CTRL + SHIFT + ;

To add the current date and time: CTRL + ; then press Space bar and then CTRL + SHIFT + ;

How to Use Today Function in Excel

Mainly the Excel TODAY function helps in getting today’s date. However, this function along with other functions can be used to execute some advanced computations depending on the current date. Here we go:

Add or Subtract Days from/to Today’s Date

A simple calculation can be done for addition or subtraction. You can even add or subtract a specific number of days to/from the current date by using this formula:

For instance, when you need to add 7 days to today’s date:

=TODAY () + 7

On the other hand, when you need to subtract 7 days from the current date, here is the formula:

=TODAY () – 7

In case, when you don’t want to add weekends to the calculation, the nesting TODAY function will help. Excluding weekends such as Saturday and Sunday by nesting, TODAY within WORKDAY that operates weekdays only will need you to follow this formula.

To add 7 workdays to today’s date:

=WORKDAY(TODAY(),7)

To subtract 7 workdays from today’s date:

=WORKDAY(TODAY(),-7)

Here is the visual display of this example:

Remember that when you need to show the calculated date in order, try to set the formula cell’s format to Date.

Static Date and Time

When you need to enter the current date as a static value, press (CTRL + ;). In this function, the semicolon is used in combination with the CTRL key.

Also, keep in mind that this date will not change while opening the workbook on another date.

While entering the current time as a static value, press (CTRL + SHIFT + ;).

Also, this time will not change as you make changes to a cell or while opening the workbook.

Simply press (CTRL + ;), to enter the current date and time as a static value. Later on, after this function, you need to press the Space bar in combination with (CTRL + SHIFT + ;).

How to Highlight Today’s Date in Excel

In multiple scenarios, you might be needing to highlight the current date in Excel. It could be because you have surrounded by loads of date figures or you might be designing a new calendar in Excel. Using the Conditional Formatting rule in combination with this formula, you can do it.

=B2=TODAY()

In this formula, B2 is the top-left cell of the range in which the rule applies. It may look as:

To Sum Up

Most likely you are now aware of how you can manage to use the Excel formula for Today’s date. However, we have explained all the useful tricks including some effective keyboard shortcuts, so that you can enjoy working on Excel rather than thinking of it as a boring task.