NOW in Excel (Table of Contents)
NOW Function in Excel
There are so many situations where we need to find out the current time or date or we can say the future date related to specific date, then, in that case, the NOW function helps in Microsoft Excel to calculate the same.
In Microsoft Excel, NOW function is categorized under heading Formulas and then we have to go to the Date & Time.
We can state that NOW function returns the current date and time formatted as a date and time, which is in the system.
NOW Formula in Excel
Below is the NOW Formula in Excel :
Explanation of NOW Function in Excel
This function does not have any particular argument or parameter. The value which we get from NOW function is the current date and time.
NOW function always recalculate the formula whenever we reopen the Excel file, hence it comes under volatile functions. It does not matter whether we have done the changes or not in the NOW formula, it will always ask for save the file or recalculate it automatically. As a result, even if we just scroll the workbook after opening it, while closing it will ask to save each time due to volatile function.
For Example, If we apply the formula today on workbook =NOW(), it will show as today’s date i.e. 17/11/2018 15:00. After applying the NOW formula, if we close the workbook and then open it after five days, so it will show the date of after five days which 22/11/2018 and the time will be when we open after five days. No need to change in the current formula of NOW(). It is volatile, hence automatically calculates.
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If we want Time to be displayed in the particular cell, then the shortcut for this is Ctrl + Shift + : and if we have to display the only date then the shortcut key is Ctrl + : in Microsoft Excel.
How to Use NOW Function in Excel?
This function is very simple and easy compared to other functions in Microsoft Excel which contains lots of arguments or parameters. It is used where the current date and time needed.
Step 1: Go to the cell in workbook where this formula needs to be calculated and the go-to Formulas section in the top. Below is the picture for reference.
Step 2: Then, click on Date & Time option like below picture:
Step 3: Now, look for the NOW option available in the above box and click it. Below is the picture for reference:
After clicking we have a display like below:
Step 4: As we can see the formula is automatically populated after clicking on NOW, hence we have to click on OK or press Enter through a keyboard.
As we can see in the above box, it is written that “This function takes no arguments”. So, nothing is required here as a parameter, which we discussed above.
Below will be the result:
Hence, we can see that date and time is populated respectively in the cell address D5 where we have entered the formula. So, if we save it and reopen it again then the date and time will also change automatically according to the system, as this formula is volatile. As I am from India, so the time shown here is IST.
As we saw in the above example to use the NOW function manually. Now, we will see to use NOW function by entering a formula in the required cell.
Step 1: Enter =NOW in the required cell. Please see below:
Step 2: Now we have to hit tab. Below is the picture for reference:
Step 3: We have close the formula by just entering ), so that it will be completed. Please refer below pic:
And just press enter after this and the result will be displayed like below picture:
If we have to calculate the time according to other zones then, we can calculate by using a few combinations in the NOW function.
For EST, we can write the formula as =NOW()-TIME(9,30,), as we know Indian Standard Time is ahead by 9 hrs and 30 mins.
So the Result will be :
As IST is ahead, that is why we have subtracted 9 hours and 30 minutes from NOW function by using the TIME function.
Below was the argument required:
So, we can calculate for another time zone also, if we know how much it is ahead.
For CST (Central Standard Time), it is ahead by 10 hours and 30 minutes.
Result is :
For MST (Mountain Standard Time), IST is ahead by 11 hours and 30 minutes.
Result is :
For PST (Pacific Standard Time), IST is ahead by 12 hours and 30 minutes.
Result is :
In the place of an hour, minute, second in TIME formula, just change the time which is as per above and according to requirement. In the second argument, we can put 0.
Just make sure the, use the correct time frame while applying this formula, so that result would be correct.
Above example is the combination of NOW and TIME formula to get the correct result of other standard time zones.
Things to Remember About the NOW Function in Excel
- NOW function is classified under volatile function, so each time it will recalculate and it can affect the calculation.
- It displays the current date & time according to the system.
- The format of output will be mm/dd/yyyy hh:mm.
You can download this NOW Function Excel template here – NOW Function Excel Template
This has been a guide to NOW Function in Excel. Here we discuss the NOW Formula in Excel and how to use NOW function in Excel along with practical examples and downloadable excel templates. You can also go through our other suggested articles –