How to Insert Current Date in Excel (3 Ways)

While working with a dataset in Excel, you may want to make a time logbook and need to quickly enter the current date. Perhaps you want to automatically display the current date in a cell whenever formulas are recalculated. Inserting the current date in a cell can be done in a few different ways. The tutorial illustrates some best-fit ways to insert the current date in Excel as well as a few other purposes.

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3 Suitable Ways to Insert Current Date in Excel

In Excel, there are different techniques for entering the current date: two formulas and a shortcut. Whether you want a static or dynamic value will determine which one to use. In general, we use keyboard shortcuts for static values and formulas for dynamic values.

1. Use Keyboard Shortcut to Insert Current Date in Excel

Use one of the following keyboard shortcuts to insert the current date as an unchangeable timestamp that will not automatically update the next day.

1.1 Insert Current Date in Excel

Steps:

  • Press Ctrl+; (semi-colon).

Use Keyboard Shortcut to Insert Current Date in Excel

Note: When you open the workbook on a different day, this date will remain the same.

1.2 Insert Current Time in Excel

Steps:

  • Press Ctrl+Shift+; (semi-colon).

Use Keyboard Shortcut to Insert Current Date in Excel

Note: When you open the workbook at a different time, this time will remain the same.

1.3 Insert Current Date and Time in Excel

Steps:

  • Firstly, press Ctrl+; (semi-colon).
  • Then, Ctrl+Shift+; (semi-colon).

Use Keyboard Shortcut to Insert Current Date in Excel

Note: When you open the workbook on a different day, this date and time will remain the same.


2. Apply TODAY Function to Insert Current Date in Excel

In financial modeling, the current date is highly useful for discounting cash flows and determining the net present value (NPV) of an investment. The TODAY function can also be used to build a dynamic model that calculates the number of days that have passed since a given date. This is especially important for a financial analyst who uses Excel to do their business.

The TODAY function in Excel returns the current date, as its name suggests.

The TODAY function has the simplest syntax conceivable, with no arguments at all. Simply enter the following formula in a cell whenever you need to insert current date in Excel:

=TODAY()

Using this function, we can easily find out the current date, day of the month, or the current month of the year. Let’s see how this function works.

Step 1:

  • To insert the current date in excel, type the following formula.
=TODAY()
  • Then, press Enter.

Apply TODAY Function to Insert Current Date in Excel

Step 2:

  • Now we will apply the TODAY Function to find the current day of the month. To find the current day of the month, type the following formula,
=DAY(TODAY())
  • Then, press Enter.

Apply TODAY Function to Insert Current Date in Excel

Step 3:

  • Apply TODAY Function to Find the Current Month of the Year. To find the current day of the month, type the following formula,
=MONTH(TODAY())
  • Then, press Enter.

Apply TODAY Function

Note: The TODAY function is a kind of volatile function. There are no arguments for the TODAY function. When you open the workbook on a different day, this date will be immediately updated.


3. Use NOW Function to Insert Current Date in Excel

The NOW function can be beneficial in financial analysis when creating various KPI reports. When you need to display the current date and time on a worksheet or calculate a number based on the current date and time that is updated each time you access the worksheet, the NOW function comes in handy.

Simply enter the following formula in a cell whenever you need to insert current date and time in Excel.

=NOW()

Steps:

  • To insert the current date and time, type the following formula,
=NOW()
  • Then, press Enter.

Apply NOW Function

Note: The NOW function does not take any arguments. When the sheet is recalculated, this time will automatically update. When you make a modification to a cell or open the workbook, this happens. To recalculate the workbook manually, press F9.


✍ Things to Remember

✎  If the TODAY function does not update the date when you expect it to, you might need to change the settings that control when the workbook or worksheet recalculates. On the File tab, click Options, and then in the Formulas category under Calculation options, make sure that Automatic is selected.

✎  A decimal number is used to represent time values, which are a part of a date value (for example, 12:00 PM is represented as 0.5 because it is half of a day).

#VALUE! The error occurs when the specified serial number is not a valid Excel time.


Conclusion

To conclude, I hope this article has given you some useful information about how to insert current date in Excel both in static and dynamic ways. All of these procedures should be learned and applied to your dataset. Take a look at the practice workbook and put these skills to the test. We’re motivated to keep making tutorials like this because of your valuable support.

If you have any questions – Feel free to ask us. Also, feel free to leave comments in the section below.

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Bhubon Costa

Myself, Bhubon Costa, an engineer, is currently employed with Exceldemy as an Excel & VBA Content Developer. I appreciate solving analytical difficulties, finding practical answers, and, for the most part, I enjoy taking on new tasks. I write articles on Exceldemy about various ways to get out of Microsoft Excel's stuck conditions. My passion is to leave my mark on the world through my work and to have an impact on the community who benefit from it.

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