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Excel Shortcuts - Time & Date


August 01, 2017 - by Bill Jelen

Excel Shortcuts - Time & Date

How to enter the current time or date into a cell. This method is a shortcut key and is often superior to using NOW() or TODAY().

Press Ctrl + Shift + : to enter the current time. Press Ctrl + ; for the current date. Note the shortcut enters the current time, not a formula.

Thanks to Olga Kryuchkova, Tim O’Mara

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Video Transcript

Learn Excel From MrExcel, Podcast Episode 2121: CONTROL+: To Enter The Current Time, CONTROL+; To Enter The Current Date.

Alright. If I need to timestamp something, if I need to say what time something happened -- like, right now I'm recording, it says it’s 7:42, so it's 7, :, 42 -- all I have to do is hold down the :, CONTROL+:. So, the CONTROL+SHIFT+: puts in the current time, and then, if I want to do the date, just unshift that. So, CONTROL+; puts in the current date.

Now, you're like, well, why would you do that when can you just use NOW or TODAY or the MOD of [unintelligible – 00:33]? Well, the problem is these formulas down here are constantly reupdating. If I open this tomorrow, it's not going to say 7/22 anymore, it's going to say 7/23. If I open it 6 months from now, it's going to say January of 2018. I want to timestamp something, I want to just lock that time in.

Hey. Here's a couple of cool ones. If you want to enter the current date and time, if you would do -- let's make this a little bit wider here so we can see the whole thing -- if we would do CONTROL+SHIFT+: and then CONTROL+;, right, like that -- and it doesn't look like it would work -- that actually converts to a real date and time. It does not work the other way: CONTROL+;, CONTROL+SHIFT+: will not work. That stays as text.

Alright. So, a couple days ago, we talked about using strikethrough. I like to use strikethrough but then I also like to say what time I finished something so I kind of have a picture of my day. So, CONTROL+SHIFT+:, CONTROL+; lets you put the date and time in of when something happened.

Alright. Well, hey. Thanks for stopping by. We'll see next time for another netcast from MrExcel.

Title Photo: Alexas_Fotos / Pixabay


Bill Jelen is the author / co-author of
Excel Dynamic Arrays Straight to the Point

The new Dynamic Array Functions are just one side-effect of an effort to completely rewrite the Calculation Engine in Excel. Joe McDaid and the rest of the CALC team have the laid the groundwork for all future functions in Excel. Yes, the first crop of SORT, SORTBY, FILTER, UNIQUE, SEQUENCE and RANDARRAY are awesome and powerful, but they are just the first of many new functions that will come to Office 365 over the coming years.