We have a change control SP list and do aging metrics on how long an item is open. I have a calculated field to calculate how long an item has been open, but am getting a negative serial date as a response.

Calculation: =IF(OR(Change_Control_Status="Closed",Change_Control_Status="Withdrawn"),[Closed_Date]-[Created],Now()-[Created]

When the status is Closed or Withdrawn, the calculation works fine, but when the status is Open, SP is not calculating the time between created date and the current date - it is returning values like -43,873 which appears to be a date serial number. I have also tried changing Now() to Today() and doing DATEDIF.

1 Answer 1


Calculated columns are only evaluated when an item is created or modified. So, if you're looking to calculate things with a fixed datetime, then you can change out Now() with [Modified].

If, however, you are looking for a column that always renders the calculation based on the current time, you'll need to use List Formatting. You can apply a column format to do this in SharePoint Online or SharePoint 2019.

This sample format could easily be adjusted to use the @now placeholder token to perform the calculation: https://github.com/pnp/sp-dev-list-formatting/tree/master/column-samples/date-difference

The sample above uses Excel Style expressions but could be rewritten with AST for 2019.

  • 1
    Thanks for the response. I will look into using [Modified]. Unfortunately we are still using SP 2013. We are scheduled to upgrade sometime later this year.
    – bja92
    May 14, 2020 at 15:50

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