# How to Use NOW Function in Excel: A Step-by-Step Guide for Beginners

Knowing how to use the NOW function in Excel can save you a lot of time and hassle when you need to insert the current date and time into your spreadsheets. This function will automatically update to the current date and time every time your spreadsheet is recalculated, making it super handy for tracking deadlines, timestamps, or any sort of real-time logging.

## Step-by-Step Tutorial on Using the NOW Function in Excel

In this section, we’ll walk you through how to use the NOW function in Excel. By the end, you’ll be able to insert the current date and time into any cell you choose.

First things first, you need to open the Excel file where you want to insert the current date and time.

Find the Excel application on your computer and double-click to open it. Once it’s open, navigate to the specific file you need or start a new spreadsheet.

### Step 2: Select the Cell Where You Want to Insert the Date and Time

Next, choose the cell where you’d like the date and time to appear.

Click on any cell in your spreadsheet to select it. For example, you might choose cell A1 if it’s currently empty.

### Step 3: Type the NOW Function

Now, you’ll need to enter the function into the selected cell.

Type `=NOW()` directly into the cell and then press Enter. It’s as simple as that!

### Step 4: Press Enter to Complete the Function

Finally, just press the Enter key on your keyboard to execute the function.

Once you press Enter, the current date and time will appear in the cell you selected. The format may vary depending on your system settings, but it will automatically update every time the sheet recalculates.

### What Happens After You Complete the Action

After you complete these steps, the selected cell will display the current date and time. This information will automatically update whenever you open the file or when any other change is made to the spreadsheet, ensuring that it always shows the most current information.

## Tips for Using the NOW Function in Excel

1. Formatting the Date and Time: You can change how the date and time are displayed by right-clicking on the cell and selecting "Format Cells." Choose the date or time format that suits your needs.
2. Static Date and Time: If you need the date and time to remain static, you can copy the cell and paste it as values using "Paste Special."
3. Formula Bar: You can also enter the NOW function directly into the formula bar if you prefer.
4. Combining with Other Functions: Use the NOW function in combination with other functions like TEXT to format it exactly how you want.
5. Cell References: If you need to use the current date and time in calculations, simply refer to the cell containing the NOW function in your formulas.

### What is the NOW function in Excel?

The NOW function returns the current date and time in Excel, updating automatically every time the spreadsheet recalculates.

### How do I keep the date and time from changing?

To keep the date and time static, copy the cell with the NOW function and paste it as values using "Paste Special."

### Can I format the date and time?

Yes, you can format the displayed date and time by right-clicking the cell, choosing "Format Cells," and selecting your preferred format.

### Will the NOW function work in all versions of Excel?

Yes, the NOW function is available in all versions of Excel.

### Can I use the NOW function in calculations?

Absolutely! You can reference the cell containing the NOW function in your calculations to incorporate the current date and time.

## Summary

2. Select the cell where you want to insert the date and time.
3. Type `=NOW()`.
4. Press Enter.

## Conclusion

Understanding how to use the NOW function in Excel is a game-changer for anyone who needs real-time date and time updates in their spreadsheets. Whether you’re tracking project deadlines, logging activities, or simply need an up-to-date timestamp, the NOW function has got you covered.

You’ve learned step-by-step how to input this function, format it, and even keep it static if needed. Plus, with the added tips and FAQs, you’re well-equipped to make the most of this versatile function. So, go ahead and try it out in your next Excel project! If you’re looking for more ways to streamline your Excel tasks, there are plenty of other functions and features to explore. Happy Excel-ing!