Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Microsoft 365. 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

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated September 22, 2023)
This tip applies to Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Microsoft 365


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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, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Microsoft 365. 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. ...

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What is three less than 9?

2023-09-22 05:10:39

Mark Fitzgerald

The time returned has an underlying date of 0/01/1900 making it impossible to get meaningful math results when times have been entered over different days. Users would need an adjacent date cell or could enter the date in the same cell by pressing Ctrl+; Space Shift Ctrl+:


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