Excel NOW function

Summary

The Excel NOW function returns the current date and time, updating continuously as the worksheet recalculates. This function is essential for real-time data tracking and timestamping in Excel.
Syntax
				
					=NOW()
				
			
This function does not require any arguments.
Return value
The current date and time as an Excel serial number.

How to use

The NOW function provides the current date and time whenever the worksheet recalculates. It’s ideal for dynamic time stamping and real-time monitoring. To manually update its value, press F9 to recalculate the worksheet. For static date and time, use keyboard shortcuts like Ctrl+; for the current date and Ctrl+Shift+: for the current time.

Examples

Simple NOW
Creating an Instant Timestamp:
				
					=NOW()
				
			
Returns the current date and time, updating at each worksheet recalculation.
NOW for Past and Future Dates
Relative Date and Time Calculations:
				
					=NOW() - 7
=NOW() + 30
				
			
Calculates the date and time 7 days ago and 30 days in the future, respectively.
NOW and EDATE for Future Planning
Determining a Future Date with Current Time:
				
					=EDATE(NOW(), 6) + MOD(NOW(), 1)
				
			
Computes the date 6 months ahead while preserving the current time of the day.

Additional Notes

  • NOW returns a serial number representing date and time, which can be formatted in various styles.
  • Use the TODAY function for the current date without time.
  • Static timestamps can be inserted using Ctrl+; for date and Ctrl+Shift+: for time.
  • Ideal for applications requiring real-time data logging or automatic timestamping.

Related Functions

Excel TODAY function

The Excel TODAY function returns the current date, ideal for daily updates without including time.

Excel TEXT function

The Excel TEXT function formats numbers as text using specified formats, crucial for displaying numbers in readable formats.

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