This article describes the formula syntax and usage of the TODAY function (function: A prewritten formula that takes a value or values, performs an operation, and returns a value or values. Use functions to simplify and shorten formulas on a worksheet, especially those that perform lengthy or complex calculations.) in Microsoft Office Excel.
Returns the serial number of the current date. The serial number is the date-time code used by Excel for date and time calculations. If the cell format was General before the function was entered, Excel changes the cell format to Date. If you want to view the serial number, you must change the cell format to General or Number.
The TODAY function is useful when you need to have the current date displayed on a worksheet, regardless of when you open the workbook. It is also useful for calculating intervals. For example, if you know that someone was born in 1963, you might use the following formula to find that person's age as of this year's birthday:
This formula uses the TODAY function as an argument for the YEAR function to obtain the current year, and then subtracts 1963, returning the person's age.
Note If the TODAY function does not update the date when you expect it to, you might need to change the settings that control when the workbook or worksheet recalculates. For more information, see the article Change formula recalculation, iteration, or precision.
The TODAY function syntax has no arguments (argument: A value that provides information to an action, an event, a method, a property, a function, or a procedure.).
Note 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 39,447 days after January 1, 1900. Microsoft Excel for the Macintosh uses a different date system as its default.
For more information, see Change the date system, format, or two-digit year interpretation.
The example may be easier to understand if you copy it to a blank worksheet.
How do I copy an example?
- Select the example in this article.
Important Do not select the row or column headers.
Selecting an example from Help
- Press CTRL+C.
- In Excel, create a blank workbook or worksheet.
- In the worksheet, select cell A1, and press CTRL+V.
Important For the example to work properly, you must paste it into cell A1 of the worksheet.
- To switch between viewing the results and viewing the formulas that return the results, press CTRL+` (grave accent), or on the Formulas tab, in the Formula Auditing group, click the Show Formulas button.
After you copy the example to a blank worksheet, you can adapt it to suit your needs.
||Returns the current date.
||Returns the current date plus 5 days. For example, if the current date is 1/1/2008, this formula returns 1/6/2008.
||Returns the number of days between the current date and 1/1/2030. Note that cell A4 must be formatted as General or Number for the result to display correctly.
||Returns the current day of the month (1 - 31).
||Returns the current month of the year (1 - 12). For example, if the current month is May, this formula returns 5.