Returns the serial number of the current date and time. If the cell format was General before the function was entered, the result is formatted as a date.


NOW( )


  • Microsoft Excel stores dates as sequential serial numbers so they can be used in calculations. By default, January 1, 1900 is serial number 1, and January 1, 2008 is serial number 39448 because it is 39,448 days after January 1, 1900. Microsoft Excel for the Macintosh uses a different date system as its default.
  • Numbers to the right of the decimal point in the serial number represent the time; numbers to the left represent the date. For example, the serial number .5 represents the time 12:00 noon.
  • The NOW function changes only when the worksheet is calculated or when a macro that contains the function is run. It is not updated continuously.
Applies to:
Excel 2003