Current Date In Excel: How To Use The Built-In Function

Wednesday, April 26th 2023. | Excel Templates
Use the NOW function to display the current date and time (Excel 2016
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Introduction

Excel is a powerful tool that helps you manage data, create charts, and perform calculations. One of the most commonly used functions in Excel is the “current date” function. This function allows you to insert the current date in a cell, which is useful for tracking tasks, deadlines, and other important information. In this article, we will show you how to use the built-in “current date” function in Excel, along with some tips and tricks to make the most of this feature.

Sample 1: Inserting the Current Date in a Cell

To insert the current date in a cell, you can use the “TODAY” function. Here’s how: 1. Click on the cell where you want to insert the current date. 2. Type “=TODAY()” (without the quotes) in the cell. 3. Press Enter. The current date will appear in the cell in the format “MM/DD/YYYY”. You can also format the cell to display the date in a different format, such as “DD/MM/YYYY” or “YYYY-MM-DD”. To do this, right-click on the cell and select “Format Cells” from the context menu. In the “Format Cells” dialog box, select the “Date” category and choose the desired format from the list.

Sample 2: Using the Current Date in a Formula

You can also use the current date in a formula to perform calculations. For example, you can calculate the number of days between the current date and a future date, or you can calculate the age of a person based on their birthdate and the current date. Here’s how: 1. Click on the cell where you want to display the result of the formula. 2. Type the formula that uses the “TODAY” function and other functions, such as “DATEDIF” or “YEARFRAC”. 3. Press Enter. The result of the formula will be displayed in the cell. You can also format the cell to display the result in a specific format, such as a number or a percentage.

Sample 3: Using the Current Date in a Chart

You can also use the current date in a chart to create a dynamic chart that updates automatically. For example, you can create a line chart that shows the progress of a project over time, with the current date as a reference point. Here’s how: 1. Create a chart that uses the “current date” function in one of the data series, such as the x-axis or the y-axis. 2. Format the chart to display the current date in a visible way, such as a vertical line or a data label. 3. Save the chart as a template or a chart sheet, so that you can reuse it with different data sets.

Tips: How to Make the Most of the Current Date Function

Here are some tips to help you make the most of the current date function in Excel: 1. Use the “TODAY” function instead of typing the date manually, to avoid errors and save time. 2. Format the cell that contains the current date to display the date in a format that is easy to read and understand. 3. Use the current date in formulas to perform calculations that involve time and dates, such as aging, deadlines, and schedules. 4. Use the current date in charts to create dynamic charts that update automatically, and to highlight important dates and milestones.

FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. How do I insert the current date in Excel automatically? A1. You can use the “TODAY” function to insert the current date in a cell. Type “=TODAY()” in the cell and press Enter. Q2. How do I format the current date in Excel? A2. You can format the cell that contains the current date to display the date in a format that is easy to read and understand. Right-click on the cell and select “Format Cells” from the context menu. Q3. How do I use the current date in a formula in Excel? A3. You can use the “TODAY” function in a formula to perform calculations that involve time and dates, such as aging, deadlines, and schedules. Type the formula that uses the “TODAY” function and other functions, such as “DATEDIF” or “YEARFRAC”. Q4. Can I use the current date in conditional formatting in Excel? A4. Yes, you can use the current date in conditional formatting to highlight cells that are older or younger than a specific date. For example, you can use conditional formatting to highlight cells that are due today, or cells that are overdue. Q5. How do I insert the current time in Excel? A5. You can use the “NOW” function to insert the current time in a cell. Type “=NOW()” in the cell and press Enter. Q6. How do I freeze the current date in Excel? A6. You can use the “Paste Special” feature to freeze the current date in a cell. Copy the cell that contains the current date, and then use “Paste Special” to paste the value as a static date. Q7. How do I add or subtract days from the current date in Excel? A7. You can use the “DATE” function to add or subtract days from the current date in a formula. For example, to add 7 days to the current date, type “=TODAY()+7” in the cell.

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Excel, current date, TODAY function, formula, chart, tips, FAQ, conditional formatting, time, DATE function

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