Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, and 2013. If you are using an earlier version (Excel 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Excel, click here: Entering the Current Time.

Entering the Current Time

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated May 10, 2014)

Some people like to use Excel to keep track of the time that they work on different jobs. If you want a quick way to enter the current time, simply select a cell and press Ctrl+: (that's the colon). Obviously, to access the colon you need to hold down the Shift key, so some people might express this shortcut as Shift+Ctrl+:. The result is that Excel places the current system time in the selected cell. All you need to do is press Enter to accept the time.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (9544) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, and 2013. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Entering the Current Time.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...


Determining the Number of Fonts Available

When creating a macro, you may need to figure out how many fonts are available to Word. You can do this using the ...

Discover More

Remembering Copies to Print

If you routinely need to print more than one copy of a document, you'll love the ideas presented in this tip. There's ...

Discover More

Centering a Paragraph with the Keyboard

Need a quick shortcut that you can use to center your paragraph between the margins? The answer is here.

Discover More

Excel Smarts for Beginners! Featuring the friendly and trusted For Dummies style, this popular guide shows beginners how to get up and running with Excel while also helping more experienced users get comfortable with the newest features. Check out Excel 2013 For Dummies today!

More ExcelTips (ribbon)

Viewing Your Work Full-Screen

Want to use the maximum space possible for displaying information on screen? You'll want to learn how to use the ...

Discover More

Automatically Breaking Text

Want to convert the text in a cell so that it wraps after every word? You could edit the cell and press Alt+Enter after ...

Discover More

Quickly Entering Data

Excel includes a handy shortcut for entering data that is similar to whatever you entered in the cell above your entry ...

Discover More

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.


If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 1 + 5?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)

This Site

Got a version of Excel that uses the ribbon interface (Excel 2007 or later)? This site is for you! If you use an earlier version of Excel, visit our ExcelTips site focusing on the menu interface.

Newest Tips

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.