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How to Insert Timestamp in Excel & Google Sheets

This tutorial demonstrates how to insert a timestamp in Excel and Google Sheets.

 

Timestamp Intro

 

There are several ways you can insert a date and/or time into Excel depending on what you want the timestamp to record and depending on if you want the data to change automatically when Excel is opened to the current date and/or time, or keep the timestamp you previously created.

Create a Dynamic Timestamp

A dynamic timestamp will change each time you open the Excel file. There are two functions that can be used to do this, namely the NOW and TODAY Functions.

NOW

The NOW Function puts the current date and time into your Excel file.

Select the cell where you wish the date and time to show and type:

 

TimestampNow
Then press Enter.

TODAY

The TODAY Function puts the current date into your Excel file.

Select the cell where you wish the date to show and type:

 

Timestamp Today

 

Then press Enter.

Note: You need empty parentheses at the end of both NOW and TODAY; they are Excel functions that do not take any arguments.

Create a Static Timestamp

Entering a static timestamp into Excel means that when the file is next opened, the date and/or time will not update.

  • To insert the current date into a cell, select the cell where you wish the date to go. Using the keyboard, press and hold the CTRL key and press the semicolon (;) key.
  • To insert the current time into a cell, select the cell where you wish the date to go. Using the keyboard, press and hold SHIFT and CTRL and press semicolon (;). (Shift Semicolon is the same as a colon.)
  • To insert the current date and time into a cell, select the cell where you want the date and time to go. First, insert the date using CTRL + ;. Then, click in the formula bar to insert the time using CTRL + SHIFT + ; and press Enter.

 

Timestamp Static

 

While the date and time will show in the formula bar, the cell itself will only be formatted to show the date.

To format the cell to show the date and time, in the Ribbon, select Home > Number > Custom.

 

Timestamp CustomFormat

 

Type in the format you want and click OK.

Create a Timestamp with VBA

You can also insert a timestamp in Excel using VBA code.

The code below inserts a dynamic timestamp into the selected cell.

The code below inserts a static timestamp into the selected cell.

Note: When using VBA to insert a dynamic timestamp, the NOW Function including an equal sign needs to be contained within quotation marks, as the actual function is inserted into the Excel cell. The static timestamp uses the VBA NOW() function to insert the value into the selected cell.

Insert Timestamp in Google Sheets

You can also use the NOW and TODAY Functions to insert dynamic timestamps into your Google sheet.

 

Timestamp gs now

 

For static timestamps, you can also use CTRL + ; and CTRL + : to insert the date or time. However, Google Sheets has a keyboard shortcut that Excel doesn’t – CTRL + ALT + SHIFT + ; (Control Alt Shift Semicolon). This inserts a static date and time into the selected cell.

 

Timestamp gs static