January 28, 2021

NOW Function in Google Sheet

In this lesson we will learn the NOW function in Google Sheet. NOW function is used to get the current date and time value, provided the cell format is date/date time/time. It is useful when you want to update the time whenever someone opens a worksheet or when a calculation is dependent on current time.

=NOW()

NOW function doesn’t need any input arguments. 

Let’s understand with a simple example. In the below table, in cells A2, B2 & C2 we have used NOW() function. Based on the cell format it returned Date & Time in A2, only Date in B2 and Only Time in C2.

You can get the result of Now() function in any of the formats you have selected for your cell. To choose the cell format in Google Sheet, first select the desired cell and then click Format in menu bar. Then navigate to Number and then select the format you need for the cell from the available options as Date/Time/Date Time as follows.

NOW is a volatile function. This means that the value of NOW keeps on changing based on current date and time. In Google Sheet you can specify the Re-Calculation setting for this function with the below process.

  • Go to File Menu
  • Click Spreadsheet Settings

  • Now in the Spreadsheet Settings pane go to Calculation. There you will find the available options to select how often you want the function to re-calculate in this spreadsheet. Select the appropriate one as needed from On Change/On Change and every minute/ On change and every hour.
  • Then click Save Settings.

You can also check here to understand how the NOW function works in Excel.

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