Add current date/time in Excel using keyboard shortcuts

You can quickly add today’s date in Excel by using keyboard shortcuts. When the date is added using this method, not only is it fast, but it also doesn’t change every time the spreadsheet is opened like some Excel date functions do.

The information in this article applies to Excel 2019, 2016, 2013, 2010, 2007, and Excel for Mac versions. Links may vary between Excel for Windows and Excel for Mac.

Add today’s date in Excel with keyboard shortcuts

Using a keyboard shortcut, you can quickly add today’s date to any cell in an Excel worksheet.

The keyboard shortcut to add a date in Excel is:

Ctrl + ; (semicolon key)

To add today’s date to a spreadsheet using only the keyboard:

  • Select the cell where you want the date to appear.
  • Hold down the button ctrl on the keyboard.
  • Type and post it Semicolon ( ; ) on the keyboard without letting go ctrl Key.
  • frees that ctrl Key.
  • Today’s date is displayed in the table in the selected cell.

    The default format of the entered date is the short date format as shown in the image above. Use a different keyboard shortcut to change the format to day-month-year format.

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    Format data in Excel with keyboard shortcuts

    This Excel tip shows you how to quickly format dates in day-month-year format (e.g. 01/01/14) in an Excel spreadsheet using keyboard shortcuts.

    The keyboard shortcut to add the date is:

    Ctrl + Shift + # (raster or pound sign key)

    To format a date using keyboard shortcuts:

  • Add the date to a cell in a worksheet.
  • If necessary, click the cell to make it the active cell.
  • Keep both buttons pressed ctrl etc change on the keyboard.
  • Type and post it Key Hashtag ( # ) on the keyboard without letting go ctrl etc change Key.
  • frees that ctrl etc change Key.
  • The date is formatted in day-month-year format as shown in the image above.

    Add the current time using the keyboard shortcuts

    Although not as commonly used as dates in spreadsheets, adding the current time with a keyboard shortcut can be used as a timestamp, among other things. The time does not change after entering it.

    The keyboard shortcut to add time in Excel 2019, 2016, 2013, 2010 and 2007 is:

    Ctrl + Shift + : (colon key)

    To add the current time to a table using only the keyboard:

  • Select the cell where you want the time to appear.
  • Keep both buttons pressed ctrl and the change on the keyboard.
  • Type and post it two points ( : ) on the keyboard without letting go ctrl etc change Key.
  • frees that ctrl etc change Key.
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    The current time is added to the worksheet.

    The keyboard shortcut to add the date in Excel 2016 for Mac and Excel for Mac 2011 is:

    ⌘ (Command) + ; (Semicolon)

    To add the current time to a table using only the keyboard:

  • Select the cell where you want the time to appear.
  • Hold down the button Ordered on the keyboard.
  • Type and post it Semicolon ( ; ) on the keyboard without letting go Ordered Key.
  • frees that Ordered Key.
  • The current time is added to the worksheet.

    update time

    If you want the time to be updated every time you open the spreadsheet, use the NOW function.

    Formatting times in Excel with keyboard shortcuts

    This Excel tip shows you how to quickly format times in an Excel spreadsheet using keyboard shortcuts. By default, times in Excel are formatted in hour:minute and AM/PM format (e.g. 10:33 AM).

    The keyboard shortcut for time formatting is:

    Ctrl + Shift + @ (at symbol)

    To format the time using keyboard shortcuts:

  • Manually add time to a cell in a spreadsheet.
  • If necessary, select the cell to make it the active cell.
  • Hold down the button ctrl etc change on the keyboard.
  • Press and release the at symbol key ( @ ) on the keyboard — above the number 2 — without releasing the key ctrl etc change Key.
  • frees that ctrl etc change Key.
  • The time is formatted to show the current time in hour:minute and AM/PM format, as in the image above.
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    Enter the date and time in a single cell

    You can enter date and time in a cell by using keyboard shortcuts together.

    • To press Ctrl+ ; (Point Virgule)
    • To press place
    • To press Ctrl+Maj+ ; (Point Virgule)

    Both the date and time are displayed in the selected cell.

    Custom date and time formats with keyboard shortcuts

    If you want to change the format of a date or time entered into an Excel cell, you can use a keyboard shortcut to open the formatting dialog.

    The keyboard shortcut to access the Format Cells dialog box is as follows

    Ctrl + 1 or ⌘ (Command) + 1

  • Select the cell you want to format.
  • Hold down the button ctrl (Windows) or the touch Ordered (macOS).
  • Type and post it 1 on the keyboard without releasing the key ctrl or Ordered Key.
  • frees that ctrl or Ordered Key. The Format Cells dialog box opens.
  • Make sure you have them number selected.
  • Choose the format you want to use in date or Hour Category and select OK.