TODAY Excel Formula

Author Zaheer    Category Formulas     Tags ,

Microsoft Excel is a kind of computer program that is used in managing numbers and text through the use of spreadsheet, rather than solving arithmetic problems using a calculator or altering text from cell to cell. The user will just form in the principle in the spreadsheet to perform conversions and calculations of huge quantities of numerical and text data. In order to enter the right formula in the spreadsheet, users should learn the different functions included in the program. This is for them to make sure to get correct and accurate results. In connection with these functions, one of the frequently used Excel function is TODAY function. It is commonly used in offices and businesses. Microsoft Excel broadens its superiority in meeting the requirements of most businesses around the world.

TODAY Function Description

The function is used to return serial numbers of the present date. The serial numbers are a code utilized by Microsoft Excel for the computation of time and date. Once the format of cell is GENERAL, the result of the function will be in date form.

TODAY Function Syntax

In using Microsoft Excel, entering the formula correctly is a major requirement. This is because the program read and calculates through the keyed in syntax. So, to use the TODAY function properly, the syntax to use should be:


As you can observe, there is no argument in the formula, it is because the function is used to find the present date.

TODAY Function Key Notes

Though the function is considered as one of the easiest functions in Excel, still, there are certain details that need to be considered so that the function is used efficiently and they are as follows:

  • Microsoft Excel saves dates in serial number for them to be utilized in computations.
  • Once you try to subtract another date from TODAY function result, then it will appear as a date rather than an integer.

Example for TODAY Function

Even if it is a simple function, examples are still needed to understand its usage clearly. In connection with this, below are two different examples of the function that you may try to solve.

  • Using Excel know the date today, in date form.
  • From the present date, find the days that have passed since November 24, 2009.

To solve problem 1, do the following procedures in Excel:

  • In a blank spread sheet, click for an empty cell.
  • In the chosen cell, enter the right formula of TODAY function, which is “=TODAY()”.
  • Since the formula has no required arguments, immediately press the “Enter” key.
  • The answer will instantly appear in the chosen cell. For instance, the present date is October 8, 2011 then the date will appear in the cell as 8-Oct-11.

Once your answer is not the same as give above, then do the following procedures:

  • Right click the cells that contain the answer.
  • From the given options, choose “Format Cells”.
  • Under Category, choose “Date”.
  • Under Type, choose for the format “14-Mar-01”.

Instantaneously, the answer will appear the same.

To solve for problem 2 do the following steps in Excel:

  • In the same spreadsheet, place the given value for problem number 2.
  • After entering the given value, click for a blank cell, this is where the answer will appear.
  • In the selected cell, enter the TODAY function formula which is “=TODAY()” and subtract the given value by clicking the cell where it is located. For instance the value is located in cell A2, then the formula to appear in the formula bar should be “=TODAY()-A2”.
  • After entering the syntax, press the “Enter” key and the result would automatically appear in the selected cell.
  • For instance the function was used on October 8, 2011 then the answer that will appear on that cell should be 683.

In case the answer is not the same, just right click the cell where the answer is located, choose “Format Cells” from the given options and under “Category”, choose “General”. Then the answer will appear just like the answer obtained above. If it appears not similar with the given answer, check the formula and the keyed in value. You might have inputted the wrong value that leads to that incorrect result. Just keep in mind that when using the program, dates must be recognized by Excel, otherwise, you could end up obtaining errors. Basically, with TODAY function these are the common errors obtained by the users.

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