You can easily change the format of any cell in your Excel sheet so that the application knows what type of data to expect. The two commonly used formats are date and time.
In fact, pasting dates and times in Excel is so common that Microsoft has built in several shortcuts and functions to help you add these types of data to your worksheet. Learn how to quickly add fixed and dynamic date and time stamps to Excel.
Fixed dates and time
Many people often use Excel to track inventory, invoices, income / expenses, and a variety of other purposes that require static date and time recording. Excel has several built-in shortcuts to make it easier to add the current date and time.
Let’s say you have a new Excel sheet open and you want to start adding data tied to today’s date. Instead of typing it in, you can use these shortcuts. To add the current date to a cell, start by clicking on the cell where the date should be in your sheet. Hold down the Ctrl key and press; (semicolon) key. This will put the current date in any active cell.
To insert the current time, click the cell where you want to store the current time. While holding down the Ctrl and Shift keys at the same time, press the key; (semicolon) key. This will put the current time in the cell.
To insert the current date and current time in the same cell, click the cell where you want the date and time to be on your sheet. Hold down the Ctrl key and press; key. Now press the spacebar and while holding down the Ctrl and Shift keys, press; key.
Note that although you have inserted both the current date and time into the cells, these values ??will never change. To insert dynamic dates, you need to use built-in Excel functions.
Dynamic date and time
Dynamic dates and times may appear to be static, but they actually change to the current date and time whenever an Excel file is opened or when formulas are calculated on a worksheet. There are several reasons why you might want a dynamic rather than a static date or time.
First, if any of your formulas depend on the current date or time, using a dynamic function will help you avoid having to insert updated information every time you open a file or start a new calculation. Second, by placing a dynamic date or time next to another cell containing the calculation, you can instantly know when the calculation was last performed.
To insert a dynamic date stamp in Excel, enter the following formula in any cell:
= TODAY ()
Excel will instantly put the current date in this cell. Every time you open a workbook or do a new calculation, Excel updates the cell to the current date.
To insert a dynamic date and time stamp in Excel, enter the following formula in any cell:
= NOW ()
Excel will instantly put the current date and time in this cell. Each time you open a workbook or perform a new calculation on the sheet, Excel updates the cell with the current date and time.
Unfortunately, Excel does not have a function to insert only dynamic timestamp. However, you can change the cell formatting so that the NOW function only displays the time. Click the Home tab on the ribbon and find the section labeled Number. Click the drop-down menu and choose Time from the menu options.
Depending on your needs, you can insert static or dynamic date and time stamps into Excel to make calculations easier or keep track of the time of the last calculation. Make sure you choose the correct one so you don’t accidentally make incorrect calculations with built-in and custom Excel formulas. Enjoy!