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.
by Allen Wyatt
(last updated May 5, 2020)
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.
Create Custom Apps with VBA! Discover how to extend the capabilities of Office 2013 (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Access) with VBA programming, using it for writing macros, automating Office applications, and creating custom applications. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2013 today!
There are many different ways you may need to enter data in a worksheet. For instance, you might want to enter data in ...Discover More
When entering information in a worksheet, it is common to also note a date or time corresponding to the entry. There are ...Discover More
If you need to move down a row and then select that row, you may wonder if there is a shortcut to handle such a ...Discover More
FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."
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.