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TODAY: Google Sheets Function - How to get the Current Date

May 8, 2024

The TODAY function in Google Sheets is used to return the current date in a spreadsheet.

It is a dynamic function, so you don’t have to enter the syntax repeatedly. The date keeps updating whenever you reopen, refresh, or change your Google sheet.

Note: It only returns the present date, not the time. You can use the NOW function if you need the date and time. 

Another way to insert the present date in a Google sheet cell is by using shortcuts.

  • Windows: ctrl+;
  • Mac: ⌘+;

Note: The value inserted through shortcuts will not update automatically in Google Sheets.

Google Sheets TODAY Function Syntax

The syntax is “=TODAY()”. 

The syntax comprises the function name, brackets, and comma separators. It doesn’t include any arguments you would usually use with other functions. Like all functions, it  is enclosed in brackets.

It does not take any input parameters, so entering any value within the parenthesis will return an error.

Get the Current Date using the Google Sheets TODAY Function

Open Google Sheets, click in a cell, type “=TODAY(),” and hit enter. 

You can also combine it with other functions for different results.

Google Sheets TODAY Function Examples

Example 1: General Applications

C:\Users\Basanta Kumar Nayak\OneDrive\Pictures\Screenshots\Screenshot (41).png
Using TODAY function in Google Sheets

Example 2: Go six months back 

In this method, we combine the TODAY and EDATE function to return a value of months in the past in Google Sheets. For example, if it is 10/13/2022, what was the date six months back?

C:\Users\Basanta Kumar Nayak\OneDrive\Pictures\Capture.PNG2.PNG
Using EDATE and TODAY function together

Example 3: Find the last date of the month

In this example, we have used TODAY and EOMONTH to find the last date of the current month in Google Sheets.

C:\Users\Basanta Kumar Nayak\OneDrive\Pictures\Capture.PNG
Using EOMONTH and TODAY together

Formatting the TODAY Function

Formatting the cell delivers more customized results.

To format any cells, you need to select the cell or cells, click Format, go to Number, and select any option. For example, choosing Date & Time will turn the mm/dd/yy format to mm/dd/yy h:min:s.

C:\Users\Basanta Kumar Nayak\OneDrive\Pictures\Screenshots\Screenshot (37).png
Formatting Today function

Customizing the Date in Google Sheets

You will be able to customize the date and time format to use text, number, and additional characters instead of simple numbers and slashes.

C:\Users\Basanta Kumar Nayak\OneDrive\Pictures\Screenshots\Screenshot (39).png
Customizing the Today function
C:\Users\Basanta Kumar Nayak\OneDrive\Pictures\Screenshots\Screenshot (40).png
Custom date formatting in Google Sheets

We hope this article has helped you and given you a better understanding of how to use the Google Sheets TODAY function. You might also like our articles about the Google Sheets IMPORTXML function and the Google Sheets DATE function.

On a side note, we also recommend reading our guide on how to send out mass emails from Google Sheets.

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