The TODAY function returns the current day’s value. The value is dynamic, so it updates when you change, refresh, or reopen your Google Sheet.
The TODAY function returns just the date. If you want the date and time, use the NOW function, which operates similarly but returns the time and date in the same value.
You can also insert the current date into a cell in Google Sheets using the shortcuts listed below. However, the values inserted with these shortcuts will not update like the TODAY function’s output.
- Windows: ctl+;
- Mac: ⌘+;
You can apply date formatting to the result by going to the Format menu, choosing Number, then choosing Date.
The TODAY function returns the value of the current day. As further explained in how to use dates and times in Google Sheets formulas, the value is an integer, but Google Sheets will typically display it as a date.
Note that you need the parenthesis even though they are empty.
NOW – Returns the current date and time
Example 1 – Plain and Simple
Firstly, let’s look at some simple examples of the TODAY function.
|Outputs today’s date which was September 22, 2022.||9/22/2022|
|Returns yesterday’s date.||9/21/2022|
Example 2 – Calculating Age With the TODAY and YEARFRAC Functions
For the second example, let’s work with an inventory analysis. We use the YEARFRAC function to return the fractional number of years between two days. For example, in row
2, the purchase date was
2/12/2016 and “today’s” date is
9/22/2022. The time between them is
You could add conditional formatting to make every cell with a value greater than
5 have a pink background and red font to show you that the inventory is obsolete.
Tip: Add the rounding function to display fewer decimals such as
|1||Item #||Purchase Date||Age Formula||Age Value|
|2||Hang glider – red striped||2/12/2016||=YEARFRAC(C2,TODAY())||6.611111111|
Tip: The DATEDIF function provides a more robust method of calculating age. You can customize it to output days, months, years, or a combination thereof.
Example 3 – Three Months Ago
Now let’s get the date three months before today.
|=EDATE(TODAY(),-3)||Returns the date three months ago. Today’s date is September 22, 2022.||6/22/2022|
The EDATE function takes a
start_date argument and a
months argument. With a
start_date of today’s date and a
months value of
-3, EDATE returns a value three months in the past.
Example 4 – Last Day of the Current Month
The TODAY and EOMONTH functions and can be used to find the last day of the current month.
|=EOMONTH(TODAY(),0)||Return the last day of the month.||9/30/2022|
The EOMONTH function accepts
number_of_months arguments and returns the last day of the month a given
number_of_months away from its start value. In this case, we used the current date as the start value and specified
0 months away. Therefore, it returns the end of the current month.
Live Examples in Sheets
Go to this spreadsheet for the examples of the TODAY function shown above that you can study and use anywhere you would like.