What does the function “NOW()” return in Excel?

a) The current date

b) The current time

c) The current date and time

d) The serial number for the current date

Show Answer

c) The current date and time

The “NOW()” function in Excel returns the current date and time as a serial number. This function updates automatically whenever the worksheet recalculates, which typically happens when you make changes to the spreadsheet, open it, or when it recalculates based on your Excel settings.

The syntax for the “NOW()” function is very simple. You simply type “=NOW()” into a cell, and it will display the current date and time in the cell in the default date and time format.

For example, if you enter “=NOW()” into a cell, it might display something like “10/23/2023 15:30” (assuming the current date is October 23, 2023, and the current time is 3:30 PM).

The “NOW()” function is often used for time-stamping data, creating dynamic time-based calculations, or simply for tracking when certain events or changes occurred in your Excel workbook.