Quick, clean, and to the point

How to display current date and time

In this video we look at several ways to handle current dates and times. You may often want to enter a current date and time into a worksheet.

A simple way to do this is to enter a time or date stamp. You can do this using keyboard shortcuts.

Control semicolon enters the current date.

 Control-Shift semicolon enters the current time.

If you want to add both the current date and time use the date shortcut, add a space, and then use the shortcut for time.

Now let me add a formula in column D to pick up the values in column C, so you can see the actual values.

Note that the date has no time component, and the current time has no date component. However, cell D9 has both.

I refer to these as date and time stamps because the values won't change. They're fixed to the time when you used the shortcut. This is useful when you want to add information about the last time a worksheet was updated, for example.

Excel also contains two functions that will display a current date and time.

The TODAY function will display the current date, and the NOW function will display the current date and time. Unlike the date and time stamps above, these functions will continue to update each time the worksheet is opened or changed.

To illustrate, you can see the time value update each time I make a change to the worksheet. So, only use the TODAY or NOW functions if you really want the values to change.

In the end, all of these approaches return valid dates and times, so you can work with them normally using other date functions.


Related shortcuts

Dave Bruns

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