How to Use Excel Date Shortcut

This article illustrates how using Excel date shortcut makes dealing with dates in Excel easier. While making reports, budgets, calendars, and project planning, working with dates can be intimidating. But knowing the necessary tools and techniques would definitely save your time and labor.


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8 Useful Shortcuts to Work with Date in Excel

Let’s follow the article and practice of your own to master the shortcuts illustrated with steps and screenshots. Here’s an overview:

Excel Date Shortcut


1. Use of Date Shortcut to Enter Dates in Excel

There are two types of dates in Excel.

Static Dates

Date values that don’t change or update while calculations are static dates.

1.1 Static Current Date

Follow the steps to get the static current date.

Steps:

  • Select the cell you want to store the current date.
  • Press Ctrl +; (Semi-Colon) on your keyboard.
  • Then press Enter.

This will put the static current date in the selected cell.

Current Date Using Excel Date Shortcut

1.2 Static Current Date with Time

The following procedure will provide both the static current date and the time.

Steps:

  • Select the cell that is going to store the current date & time.
  • Press Ctrl +; (Semi-Colon) + space + Ctrl + Shift + ;( Semi-Colon) on your keyboard.
  • Then press Enter.

As a result, we’ll get the static current date with static time in the selected cell.

Current Date and Time Excel Date Shortcut


Dynamic Dates

Another type of date, which keeps updating while performing calculations are the dynamic date. We can use Excel Functions to get this of dates.

1.3 Dynamic Current Day Using the TODAY Function

Let’s do the following example using the TODAY function

Steps:

  • Select the cell you want to store the dynamic current date.
  • Type the function in the selected The function is,
=TODAY ()
  • Then press Enter.

This will put the dynamic current date in the selected cell.


1.4 Dynamic Current Day & Time Using the NOW Function:

The following illustration will provide the dynamic current day and time by using the NOW function.

  • Select the cell you want to store the dynamic current date and time.
  • Type the function in the selected The function is,
=NOW ()
  • Then press Enter.

The result is the dynamic current date with the current time in the selected cell.

Use of NOW Function in Excel


2. Changing Formats of Dates Using Keyboard Shortcuts

2.1 Finding the Day-Month-Year Clearly Using Keyboard Shortcut

Many times we need to import data in Excel that contains date values in different formats like mm-dd-yyyy or dd-mm-yyyy etc. We can apply the following shortcut to turn the date into a day-month-year format like 01 Jan 2022 which is easily understandable.

Steps:

  • Select the date containing cell.
  • Press Ctrl + Shift + # (Hash-tag ) on your keyboard.

Excel Date Shortcut to Change Format


2.2 Converting Date into Serial Number

Microsoft Excel stores date values as a sequential serial number which is required to make calculations related to dates. We can turn a date into a serial number with this keyboard shortcut.

Steps:

  • Select the cell that contains the date.
  • Press Ctrl + Shift + ~ (Tilde) on your keyboard.

Convert Date to Serial Number, Excel Date Shortcut


2.3 Applying Custom Format to Date Using Shortcut in Excel

For custom formatting a date, we can open the Format Cells window by pressing Ctrl + 1 and then select our desired format.


3. Find Out Year, Month, Day of a Date Using Excel Date Shortcut

As we discussed earlier, Excel stores dates as a sequential serial number that is understandable to the system. We can have dates that are stored as serial numbers. But we need to know it in a human-readable format. Let’s find out the year, month, and day of a date that is stored as a serial number.

  • Put =YEAR (serial number) to get the year.
  • Enter =MONTH (serial number) to get the month.
  • Type =DAY (serial number) to get the day.

Excel Date Shortcut to find Year, Month and Day of a Serial Number


Things to Remember

While importing data from different sources don’t forget to check the format of the cell. Sometimes it may happen, the date is in text format. As a result, it looks like a range of dates but no operation can be done on those dates.


Conclusion

Now, we know the shortcuts keys to use date in Excel. Hopefully, it would encourage you to use this functionality more confidently. Any questions or suggestions don’t forget to put them in the comment box below

Al Arafat Siddique

Hello! This is Arafat. Here I'm researching Microsoft Excel. I did my graduation from Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology(BUET). My interest in data science and machine learning allured me to play with data and find solutions to real-life problems. I want to explore this data-driven world and make innovative solutions.

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