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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
MrExcel LX – The Holy Grail of Excel Tips

A book for people who use Excel 40+ hours per week. Illustrated in full color.