Every day people are confronted with a lot of data. You encounter important data, such as all sorts of reports on your work. But also less important information, such as what the score was at the baseball game yesterday. In any case, you may need to organize all of this information or even compile statistics about a particular event. Google Sheets is a very good tool for this purpose. With it, you can quickly gather all your information into a convenient table and calculate the statistics using special formulas. It can then be accessed from any device, as the table will be stored on your Google Drive by default. This program has many tools that can simplify your life and its use. One of these features is the function to add the current date and time.
How to add current time and date using NOW
You can use the NOW function to add the current time and date to your Google Sheets table. It requires no additional arguments, but you will need to format all cells that use NOW to display the time. To do this, you will need to :
- First, open your Google Sheets spreadsheet or create a new one, then click on an empty cell and type “=NOW()“
- After entering this function, your cell should display the standard formatting of the NOW function, that is, show you a timestamp with the current time and date
Google Sheets uses the default time and date format according to your location. You can change this in Google Sheets settings by going to File > Spreadsheet Settings.
How to update the date and time
Normally, the timestamp created by a formula using the NOW function is only updated when you change the spreadsheet. You can change the spreadsheet settings to update every minute or every hour. To do this you need to go to Google Sheets settings, then :
- Click on File
- Then select Spreadsheet settings
- Then go to the “Calculate” tab
- Then in the “Recalculate” pop-up menu, you can specify the update frequency
How to set the date using TODAY
If you only need to specify the current date, you can use TODAY instead of NOW. Formulas that use TODAY default to display dates in DD/MM/YYY or MM/DD/YY format, depending on your location.
You also do not need any arguments to use the TODAY function. You just need to click on an empty cell and type “=TODAY()” to display the current date. Such cells will be updated every day.
How to format TODAY and NOW functions
The NOW function shows a timestamp by default where there is a date and time. This can be changed, and so can TODAY.
- To display only the current date, you need to select all the cells where you want to change this parameter, and click Format > Number > Date
- You can also display only the current time without the date by pressing Format > Number > Time instead
- You can find an additional date and time formatting options in Google Sheets by clicking Format > Number > More Formats > More Date and Time Formats
Here you can customize date and time formatting using text, numbers, or additional symbols such as a forward slash.