Tuesday, June 8, 2010

What's the Current Date or Time?

What's the Current Date or Time?

You may be familiar with Excel's NOW function, which plugs the current date and time into your spreadsheet. Just enter =NOW() into any cell, and Excel displays the date and time formatted according to the regional options you've set for Windows. If you just want to see the date, use the TODAY function, =TODAY(), instead.

But if you want to use either of these functions as a type of "timestamp" you'll find that they don't do the job, because they're automatically updated whenever your worksheet is calculated or re-opened. The cell that displays today's date will display tomorrow's date when you open the spreadsheet tomorrow.

To insert a fixed date into a cell--a date that you don't want to change--hold down Ctrl while you press the semicolon ( ;) key. To insert the current time (without a date), press Ctrl-Shift-Semicolon.

These commands are useful if you like to document your work. For example, you might want to keep track of when you added new data to your worksheet.


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