How To Insert Current Date In Excel

As a frequent user of Excel, I often find myself needing to insert the current date in my spreadsheets. This can be incredibly useful for tracking when data was last updated, for creating timestamps, or simply for keeping records organized. Fortunately, Excel provides several straightforward methods for accomplishing this task.

Using the “=TODAY()” Function

One convenient way to insert the current date in Excel is by using the =TODAY() function. This function automatically updates to the current date whenever the spreadsheet is recalculated or reopened. To use it, simply select the cell where you want the date to appear, type =TODAY(), and press Enter. The cell will then display the current date.

Inserting the Date with a Keyboard Shortcut

If you prefer to use a keyboard shortcut, you can quickly insert the current date into a cell by pressing Ctrl + ;. This automatically enters the current date into the selected cell, without the need to use a formula.

Adding a Timestamp with the “=NOW()” Function

For situations where you need both the date and time, the =NOW() function is helpful. This function inserts the current date and time into a cell, which can be useful for tracking when specific data points were recorded or updated.

Personalizing Date Formats

Excel allows for extensive customization of date formats. You can right-click on a cell, select “Format Cells,” and then choose from various date formats such as “MM/DD/YYYY” or “DD-MMM-YYYY.” This flexibility enables you to display the date in the format that best suits your needs and preferences.


Inserting the current date in an Excel spreadsheet can be accomplished through various methods, each offering its own advantages. Whether it’s the =TODAY() function, the Ctrl + ; shortcut, or the =NOW() function for timestamps, Excel provides the tools to efficiently manage dates and times within your data.