Excel can display the current time using the NOW function. This step by step tutorial will assist all levels of Excel users in calculating a time difference in different formats.

*Figure 1. Final result*

**Syntax of the NOW formula**

**=NOW()**

The **NOW** function has no parameters and returns the current time and date. To get only the time we will need to format the cell accordingly.

**Setting up Our Data for Displaying the Current Time**

Our table consists of 2 columns: “Current Time” (column B) and “Format ” (column C). In column B, we want to get a current time, while in column C we have a format of the appropriate time.

*Figure 2. Data that we will use in the current time displaying*

**Displaying the Current Time**

In our example, we want to display the current time in the cell B3 in format h:mm:ss AM/PM. Before applying the formula, we must set the format of the resulting cell as a time. To do this, we need to press Ctrl+1, choose “Custom” category and enter the format of the time – h:mm:ss AM/PM.

* Figure 3. Formatting the cells for displaying the current time*

**Formula:**

**=NOW()**

Setting the cell format like this, we will get the current time in hours, minutes and seconds and AM/PM.

Similarly, in the cell B4, we want to get the current time in hours and minutes AM/PM, while in the cells B5 and B6 we at to get the current time in formats h:mm:ss and h:mm without AM/PM.

To get the current time using the NOW formula, we need to follow these steps:

- Select cell B3 and click on it
- Press Ctrl+1
- Choose “Custom” category and enter the format of the time – h:mm:ss AM/PM
- Insert the formula: =NOW()
- Press enter
- Select cell B4 and click on it
- Press Ctrl+1
- Choose “Custom” category and enter the format of the time – h:mm AM/PM
- Insert the formula: =NOW()
- Press enter
- Select cell B5 and click on it
- Press Ctrl+1
- Choose “Custom” category and enter the format of the time – h:mm:ss
- Insert the formula: =NOW()
- Press enter
- Select cell B6 and click on it
- Press Ctrl+1
- Choose “Custom” category and enter the format of the time – h:mm
- Insert the formula: =NOW()
- Press enter

*Figure 4. Displaying the current time in different formats using the NOW formula*

Most of the time, the problem you will need to solve will be more complex than a simple application of a formula or function. If you want to save hours of research and frustration, try our live Excelchat service! Our Excel Experts are available 24/7 to answer any Excel question you may have. We guarantee a connection within 30 seconds and a customized solution within 20 minutes.

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