Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016. 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: Quickly Entering Dates and Times.

Quickly Entering Dates and Times

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated May 5, 2020)

4

If you are looking for a quick way to enter the current date or time into a cell, Excel provides an excellent shortcut. To enter the current date, just select a cell and press Ctrl+; (that's the semicolon). Closely akin to that is entering the time, which is done by using Ctrl+: (that's the colon), which is really executed as Ctrl+Shift+;.

These shortcuts work even when you are entering formulas. For instance, let's say you wanted to have today's date as a string (within quote marks) in a formula. All you need to do is enter your formula, up to the first quote mark. Then type Ctrl+; and the date appears in the formula. Type your closing quote mark, and you can continue with your formula.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (12335) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Quickly Entering Dates and Times.

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. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Converting WordPerfect Labels to Word

If you are relatively new to Word from the WordPerfect world, you may have a bunch of labels in a WordPerfect document ...

Discover More

Inserting Worksheet Values with a Macro

Macros are often used to process information in a worksheet. You may need your macro to change the values stored in ...

Discover More

Rounding to the Nearest Half Dollar

When working with financial data, it's easy to round values to the nearest dollar. What if you want them rounded to the ...

Discover More

Professional Development Guidance! Four world-class developers offer start-to-finish guidance for building powerful, robust, and secure applications with Excel. The authors show how to consistently make the right design decisions and make the most of Excel's powerful features. Check out Professional Excel Development today!

More ExcelTips (ribbon)

Ensuring Rows and Columns are Empty

Before you go about deleting rows and columns helter-skelter, it is a good idea to determine if there is anything in the ...

Discover More

Can't Enter Years in a Cell

Sometimes getting the right thing to show up in a cell can be a bit tricky when working with dates. If you enter a year ...

Discover More

Concatenating Ranges of Cells

Putting the contents of two cells together is easy. Putting together the contents of lots of cells is more involved, as ...

Discover More
Subscribe

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

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

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 five more than 7?

2016-06-13 03:16:21

Mark Vassallo

Excellent tip which I use all the time.

If you need the date AND time in the same cell you can combine the two shortcuts above and add a space in between.
e.g. Ctrl+; space Ctrl+Shift+;
The date and time in this cell can then be used in calculations.
The value entered will be static and will be fixed at the time it is entered.


2016-06-12 03:26:45

Peter Moran

Hi,

Clifton - Static

Interesting approach to Dates and Times in the following URL:

http://dailydoseofexcel.com/archives/2013/10/18/entering-times-into-cells/


2016-06-11 12:33:10

Clifton

Are the date and time entered this way in a formula static or dynamic?


2016-06-11 12:03:26

Marcel Beugelsdijk

It should be noted that time will be truncated to hh:mm when using Ctrl+Shift+; (or Ctrl+:).


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
Subscribe

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.