How Do I Insert a Dynamic Date in Excel?

Excel 2013 has hundreds of functions, but Date and Time Functions are some of the most widely used. Since Excel stores dates as numbers, many Date functions are math-based, such as NETWORKDAYS which calculates the number of work days between two dates. Dynamic date functions, like the NOW function, return the current date and time. Other dynamic date functions will return different types of information so it's beneficial to explore the entire Date and Time category of functions.

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Common Date and Time Functions
credit: Photo courtesy of Microsoft

Inserting a Dynamic Date

Step

Click "Date and Time" on the Formulas tab to reveal the list of common functions.

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Date and Time Functions
credit: Photo courtesy of Microsoft
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Choose TODAY
credit: Photo courtesy of Microsoft

Step

Choose "TODAY" from the drop-down list. This function returns only the current date.

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Click OK in Function Arguments dialog
credit: Photo courtesy of Microsoft

Step

View the formula bar or the active cell to verify the function, which should read: "=TODAY()." Clicking "OK" in the Function Arguments dialog box inserts the function into the active cell.

Step

Dialog box messages for dynamic functions display: "Formula Result = Volatile." In Excel-speak, that means a function re-calculates along with the worksheet. Dynamic functions like TODAY and NOW are volatile.

Inserting a Dynamic Date and Time

Step

Click "Date and Time" on the Formulas tab to reveal the list of common functions.

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Date and Time Functions
credit: Photo courtesy of Microsoft
...
Choose NOW
credit: Photo courtesy of Microsoft

Step

Choose "NOW" from the drop-down list. This function returns the current date and time.

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Click OK in Function Arguments dialog
credit: Photo courtesy of Microsoft

Step

View the formula bar or the active cell to verify the function, which should read: "=NOW()." Clicking "OK" in the Function Arguments dialog box inserts the function into the active cell.