Adding Current Date and Time Stamp in Excel

Sometimes it happens that you might want to enter the current date and time stamp in your excel spreadsheets automatically. This need usually arrives because of various reasons, in my case I was urged to find a solution to it as I need to do some team management wherein I required the time my associates are spending on work daily. So, in this case adding the current date and time stamp manually is a very tedious task. Thanks to MS Excel that there are certain functions and keyboard shortcuts to do it on the fly.

Now, let’s jump quickly onto the actual topic of adding current date and time stamp in excel. There are three simple ways as listed below of doing it. You can follow anyone of them depending on your needs.

Method 1. Add Current Date using Keyboard Shortcut

Brief about Keyboard Shortcut (Ctrl + ;):

  • The main advantages of using this method is that being a keyboard shortcut it’s pretty much handy and easier to use multiple times.
  • Its output gives you only current date no time stamp. Hence if you need only the date then you can quickly go for it.
  • It does not get refreshed after opening the spreadsheet every time. Hence if you are looking for a feature just to add current date without getting it refreshed then you should select this method.

How to Use it:
Below listed steps have to be followed to use Current Date using a Keyboard Shortcut:

  • Click on cell wherein you want to add current date.
  • Right click on the selected cell and select “FORMAT CELLS” option.
  • Select “Category” as date.
  • Click on “OK” button once you are done with the formatting.
  • Now click on the formatted cell and press and hold “Ctrl Key” on Keyboard along with this press semi-colon key (;)
  • Release “Semi-Colon Key” and “Ctrl Key” of keyboard.
  • After this you will be able to see the current date in the cell as depicted in below image

Date Using Keyboard Shortcut

If you need the date to be updated every time you open excel then this shortcut will not be able to help you out. However, don’t lose heart we have other functions listed below which would cater to your needs.

Method 2. Add Current Date using Excel Function TODAY():

Brief about TODAY Function:

  • Its output gives you current date. Hence if you need only the date then you can quickly go for it.
  • It gets refreshed after opening the spreadsheet every time. Hence if you are looking for a current date that should get updated every time you open excel then go for it.

How to use Excel Function – TODAY()

  • Click on cell wherein you want to add current date.
  • Right click on the selected cell and select “FORMAT CELLS” option.
  • Select “Category” as date.
  • Click on “OK” Button once you are done with the formatting.
  • Now click on the formatted cell and type TODAY to display the now function as shown in below image.

Current Date using Today Function

  • After typing << =TODAY() >> in the cell, simply hit “Enter” button or just click outside the cell.

After this you will be able to see the current date in the cell as depicted in below image:
Output Current Date using Today FunctionNote: Please note that there are no arguments passed in Today Function, i.e. its correct formula is =TODAY()

So this was about using Today function using which you will get date as the only output and this will get auto-refreshed every time you open the excel or press F9 key. However, if you are looking for a function that gives you both date and time as output and also gets refreshed then you can use below function.

3. Add Current Date and Time Stamp using Excel Function NOW():

Brief about NOW Function:

  • Its output gives you both current date and time stamp. Hence if you need both the date and time stamp then you can quickly go for it.
  • It gets refreshed after opening the spreadsheet every time. Hence if you are looking for a current date and time stamp that should get updated every time you open excel then go for it.

How to use Excel Function – NOW()

  • Click on cell wherein you want to add current date.
  • Right click on the selected cell and select “FORMAT CELLS” option.
  • Select “Category” as custom.
  • Click on “OK” button once you are done with the formatting.
  • Now click on the formatted cell and type “NOW” to display the now function as shown in below image.

Current Date using Now Function

  • After typing << =NOW() >> in the cell, simply hit “Enter” button or just click outside the cell.

After this you will be able to see the current date and times tamp in the cell as depicted in below image:

Output Current Date using Now Function
Note: Please note that there are no arguments passed in Now Function, i.e. its correct formula is =NOW()

That was all from my end. Do let us know if these functions helped you out or in case you are using some other function to do this job which is not listed in this article.

About Ankit Kaul

Ankit is the founder of Excel Trick. He is tech Geek who loves to sit in front of his square headed girlfriend (his PC) all day long. :D. Ankit has a strong passion for learning Microsoft Excel. His only aim is to turn you guys into 'Excel Geeks'.

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