The value returned by the TODAY function is a standard Excel date. To display the result as a date, apply a date number format. Optionally customize the number format as you like. If you want the current date with a time value, use the NOW function.


The TODAY function can be used on its own, or combined with other functions. The formulas below show how the TODAY function can be used in various ways:

Static date and time

If you need a static date and time that won’t change,  you can use the following shortcuts:

Insert current date - Control + ; Insert current time - Control + Shift + :

To enter both values in a single cell, enter the date, a space, then the time.

Formatting results

The result of TODAY is a serial number representing a valid Excel date. You can format the value returned by TODAY using any standard date format. You can use the TEXT function to build a text message that includes the current date: To return a message like “The current date is May 31”.

Dave Bruns

Hi - I’m Dave Bruns, and I run Exceljet with my wife, Lisa. Our goal is to help you work faster in Excel. We create short videos, and clear examples of formulas, functions, pivot tables, conditional formatting, and charts.