Using the current time and/or date in Excel can help keep track of activities or add timestamps to your work easily. In Excel, there are a few ways for inserting the current date and time in a cell. In this article, we are going to show you how to insert Excel today’s date.
Excel today’s date
We will be taking a look at finding today’s date using a timestamp and formulas.
Using a timestamp
The static date and time values are called timestamps in Excel. A timestamp doesn’t change when a spreadsheet is recalculated. You can think of this as a manually entered cell value.
However, you don’t have to do this manually every time, because there’s a shortcut! When a timestamp cell is active, you can use the following shortcuts to update it quickly.
- Ctrl + ; shortcut inserts the today date in a cell.
- Ctrl + Shift + ; shortcut inserts the current time.
Using a function
Another method for inserting today’s date into Excel is using formulas TODAY and NOW, which can pull the current date and time. Due to how formulas inherently work in Excel, these values will be automatically updated with every calculation. Neither of these functions require any arguments to execute. Simply enter the formula in a cell and press Enter.
You can see the difference between timestamps and functions looking at time values above. The NOW function’s time is ahead of the static counterpart because it keeps getting updated.
If you only need a dynamic time value, you can change the number formatting of the cell to exclude the date part:
- Select the cell
- Open on the Number Format dropdown under Home > Number
- Click on the Time number format to display only the time part
If you want to learn about number formatting, please see Number Formatting in Excel – All You Need to Know