Excel Current Time Formula (7 Suitable Examples)

It’s always handy to be able to insert current time using Excel current time formula or keyboard shortcuts in cells. In this article, we demonstrate multiple ways to display the current time in Excel.

Overview-Excel Current Time Formula

In the above screenshot, we overview some of the easiest ways to fetch current time in Excel.


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Applying or Changing Time Format in Excel

In the case of entering time in Excel, if you type 11:30,15:20 or 17:00 PM Excel understands the values as time inputs. Excel displays these kinds of values as 11:30/11:30 AM, 15:20/15:20 PM, or 17:20/17:20 PM depending on the default time format.

In our case, we just use different formulas to come up with the current time in Excel.

Cell Format-Excel Current Time Formula

And the formulas display the current time in format types like Custom, Number, and General. But these are not the formats we want our data in. So, what can be done?

We can change the formatting of the values and display them in our desired formats by simply following below steps:

Step 1: Select all the current time values, then Go to Home Tab > Click on Font Settings Icon.

Font setting

Step 2: The Format Cells window appears. In the Format Cells window, Select Number Tab > Choose Time as Category > 1:30:55 PM as Type. You can use other options as Type to display the current time.

Click OK.

Format cells window

You can use keyboard shortcuts CTRL+SHIFT+F or CTRL +1 to bring out the Format Cells window.

After returning to the dataset, we’ll see all the formula times are formatted in a specific format that we chose momentarily ago.

Time formatting


7 Easy Ways to Use Excel Current Time Formula

Before applying any of the below methods, it’s ideal to preformat the cells with desired time format as shown in the Applying or Changing Time… section.


Method 1: Using Keyboard Shortcuts (Static Excel Current Time)

Excel offers keyboard shortcuts to fetch current time in any cells in excel.

Press CTRL+SHIFT+; to display the current time in any random cell.

keyboard shortcuts

For MAC, the shortcut key is COMMAND + ; 

Keep in mind that keyboard shortcuts display the current time of any moment and make it static unless shortcuts keys are again pressed.

Read More: How to Auto-Update Current Time in Excel (With Formula and VBA)


Method 2: Using NOW Function (Dynamic Excel Current Time)

Microsoft Excel offers multiple functions to deal with time. However, the NOW function fetches the current time every time you recalculate or revisit the data.

Type the below formula in any blank cell (i.e., C5).

=NOW()

Afterward, the formula displays the current time in the cell as shown in the following image.

NOW Function-Excel Current Time Formula

Use SHIFT+F9 to insert current time in active worksheets and F9 to insert current time in all open workbooks. The NOW function displays the current Date and Time altogether; Apply formatting to display only the current Time in any cell.

Read More: How to Use the NOW Function in Excel (8 Suitable Examples)


Method 3: Combining NOW and INT Functions as Excel Current Time Formula

The INT function rounds a number to the nearest integer. Normally, you get decimal when you apply the NOW function.

Paste the following formula in any cell then Press ENTER.

=NOW()-INT(NOW())

NOW and INT function

The NOW function just fetches time from the computer system. Then subtracting INT(NOW()) from NOW results in only decimals and it only displays the current time as depicted in the following picture.

Values of NOW and INT function

Read More: How to Use NETWORKDAYS.INTL Function in Excel (2 Examples)


Similar Readings


Method 4: Using TIME Function to Bring Out Excel Current Time

The TIME function takes three arguments (hour, minute, second) to display time. However, it doesn’t display the current time. To display the current time, we have to entwine the NOW function with it.

Write the =NOW() formula in any blank cell (i.e., C5) then Press ENTER.

Current time

The current time appears in cell C5.

Paste the below formula in cell C6 to assign current time to TIME function’s arguments.

=TIME(HOUR(C5),MINUTE(C5),SECOND(C5))

In the formula, C5 is assigned as a cell reference to the arguments.

TIME FUNCTION Result-Excel Current Time Formula

You can see the same time appears in cell C6.

You can also use the NOW function in the place of the cell reference to fetch the current time using the TIME function. In that case. The formula becomes

 =TIME(HOUR(NOW()),MINUTE(NOW()),SECOND(NOW())

Read More: How to Remove Time from Date in Excel (6 Approaches)


Method 5: Using TEXT Function as Excel Current Time Formula

The TEXT function converts a numeric value into a text string. We can assign the NOW function as a numeric value and provide a specific format to result in. The syntax of the TEXT function is

Text(Value, format_text)

Insert the following formula in any cell (i.e., C5) and Hit ENTER.

=TEXT(NOW(),"hh:mm:ss AM/PM")

Inside the formula,

NOW()=Value.

hh:mm:ss AM/PM= format_text, you can assign any format to display the time in.

Text function-Excel Current Time Formula


Method 6: Using NOW and TODAY Functions to Get Current Time in Excel

The NOW function displays the current Date and Time in none-preformatted cells. Whereas the TODAY function only displays the current day. Subtracting TODAY from NOW results in only the current time.

In this method, we fetch current time from the subtraction of NOW and TODAY.

Write the following formula in any blank cell (i.e., C5) after that Press ENTER.

=NOW()-TODAY()

NOW and TODAY-Excel Current Time Formula

You’ll get the time as shown in the above screenshot.

Read More: How to Use DATE Function in Excel (8 Examples)


Method 7: Using Excel HOUR, MINUTE and SECOND Functions

The HOUR, MINUTE, and SECOND functions take only one argument as serial_number individually. Though these functions don’t display the current time, we can patch them with the NOW function to show the hour, minute, and second separately. Then add them using Ampersand (&) to make up the current time.

Type the below formula in any blank cell (i.e., C5).

=HOUR(NOW())

HOUR function

Repeat the above step with MINUTE and SECOND formula as shown in the following image.

Similar to hour function

Write the below formula in any cell (i.e., C9) to join the hours, minutes, and seconds and constitute the current time.

=C5&":"&C6&":"&C7

hour minute and second result

The Ampersands (&) join hours, minus, and seconds to constitute the current time in the cell.

Read More: How to use HOUR Function in Excel (5 Easy Examples)


Conclusion

In the article, we demonstrate multiple ways to insert current time in Excel. We use multiple functions such as NOW, TIME, TEXT, INT, TODAY, HOUR, MINUTE, and SECOND as well as keyboard shortcuts to fetch current time. We discuss time formatting types as most of the functions result in different values without pre-formatting. Hope the above-described methods of Excel’s current time formula intrigue you to use time data more efficiently. If you have further queries or feedback, please let me know in the comment section. You can check out my other articles on the Exceldemy website.


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Maruf Islam

Maruf Islam

My self, Maruf Islam, an engineer and Excel & VBA Content developer on Exceldemy. I enjoy solving problems, finding workable solutions, and most of the part I really like to take on challenges. On Exceldemy I write articles discussing various way outs of Microsoft Excel's stuck ons.

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