How to insert current date and time into any Excel cell

3 Tip Friday excel course

This is 3 tip Friday, your weekly Excel tips email, where every week you can learn a tip, a keyboard shortcut and a function in just a couple of minutes.

You can use these emails to gradually build your Excel knowledge over time. I’m always interested to hear your feedback, so please do reply to this email if you have any comments or suggestions for future updates. What’s your top Excel tip?

A quick win you can learn today -

When you’re working with objects in Excel - things like charts, arrows, pictures and shapes, it can be tricky to get everything to display in the right order.
Excel has a ‘move forwards’ / ‘move to front’ and ‘move backwards’ / ‘move to back’ functionality for any object you select. To use, just click on the object and you can find these options either on the right click menu, or by clicking the Format menu ribbon at the top of the page.
If you have lots of shapes and objects on the page, it can take a few clicks to get them into the right order!

A keyboard shortcut I'm adding to my list -

A few issues ago we covered the shortcut Ctrl + D which will copy the contents of the cell above into the selected cell. It’s a useful way to add new rows to tables. Ctrl + R is a similar function, but instead of copying down, it copies to the right. To use it, click into a blank cell with data in the cell immediately to its left, and press Ctrl+R.

A function I've found super useful this week -

I’ve been running these emails for around 6 months now, and surprised myself that I hadn’t yet covered two of my favourite functions. TODAY and NOW can be used to insert the current date, and current date/time into any cell. To use them type =TODAY() or =NOW() - the values will update every time your workbook recalculates.
The most common place to use these is to work out the age of an item or task - e.g. if the date was in cell A2, you could type =TODAY()-A2 to calculate the number of days since that date.

Check out more Excel worksheet functions categorized by their functionality here!

As always, I hope you find these tips useful, and please do reply if you have any comments or questions!

- Martyn
East Lothian, Scotland
September 2018

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