Instead of manually inserting times and dates into Google Spreadsheets, you can use the Today and Now feature. These features show the current time and date, updated as spreadsheets change or on a regular basis.

Although the TODAY function is updated regularly now, you can quickly insert a non-updated time or a date stamp using a keyboard shortcut.

Adding the current time and date with NOW

Adding the current time and date to Google Sheets using the NOW function is almost too easy. The NOW function does not take any additional arguments, but you need to format any cells using just now to show the time.

To get started, open a Google Sheets spreadsheet or create a new one, click on an empty cell and type =NOW() .

After pasting, your Google Sheets spreadsheet should use the default standard formatting for NOW formulas, displaying timestamps with both the current date and time.

The NOW function is used in Google Sheets to provide a timestamp with the current time and date

Google Sheets also defaults to the date and time format appropriate for your locale, which you can change in the Google Sheets preferences by going to File > Spreadsheet Settings. The example above uses the format UK date (DD/MM/YY).

Normally the timestamp generated by a formula with a function will now only update when your spreadsheet changes. You can change the spreadsheet settings to update every minute or every hour optionally.

To do this, enter your Google Sheets settings (File > Spreadsheet Settings), click the Calculation tab, and then select the refresh rate from the Recalculate drop-down menu.

To change how often cells are updated in Google Sheets, go to File > Spreadsheet Settings, click Calculate, then choose a frequency from the recalculate drop-down menu.» width=»650″ height=»383″ src=» rj+rp+rw+ri+cp+md.ic.REqDyuYIo1.png»></p>
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Cells with the formula TODAY will be updated every day. You can change the format to use text or numbers if you prefer.

Formatting your NOW or TODAY formula

As we’ve shown, NOW functions typically by default to show a timestamp that displays both the time and date.

If you want to change this, you need to change the formatting for any cells using the NOW function. You can also change the format of any formula using the TODAY function in the same way.

To display the current date only, select the cell (or cells) and select Format > Number > Date. To display the current time without the date, select Format > Number > Time instead.

To change the formula using the NOW function so that only the time and date are displayed, select Format > Number and select the time or dates» width=»586″ height=»696″ src=» rj+rp+rw+ri+cp+md.ic.dpEkzAN-nj.png»></p>
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Inserting Static Times or Dates in Google Sheets

If you want to add the current time or date to your Google Sheets spreadsheet but you don’t want to update, you can’t use now or today. You will have to use the keyboard shortcut instead.

To insert the current date, click on an empty cell and then press Ctrl +; (semicolon) keys on the keyboard.

To paste the current time, press Ctrl + Shift + : (colon) on your keyboard instead.

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