How to Insert Current Time into Google Sheets

When entering data into Google Sheets, using functions and formulas is essential to perform calculations quickly or input data efficiently, such as using date and time functions in Google Sheets, for instance. Instead of manually entering the current date and time, we can simply use a function to display the time.

Whether your document has minimal or extensive content, it is advisable to use date and time functions rather than manually inputting them to save time. The following article will guide you on how to insert the current time into Google Sheets.

1. Inserting Date and Time into Google Sheets using NOW

In the cell where you want to insert the current time, the user enters the formula =NOW() and then presses Enter.

At this point, the current date, time, and timestamp are displayed when the NOW function is entered. Google Sheets automatically adjusts the time format according to the language and locale settings you are using.

The time that we insert into Google Sheets will not automatically change unless you manually modify it. If users want the time to automatically update and change, they can click on the File tab and select Spreadsheet settings at the bottom of the list.

Click on the “Formulas” tab, then scroll down and click on the menu option under the “Calculation” section. From there, select the time update frequency you want for the NOW function, and click on “Save settings” below. This will automatically update the time displayed by the NOW function without any additional manual steps required.

Inserting dates into Google Sheets using the TODAY function

The TODAY function differs from the NOW function as it only displays the current date and does not include the time. It also displays the date format that corresponds to the language being used.

In the cell where you want to insert the date, enter the formula =TODAY() and then press Enter.

The result will display the current date as shown in the image below.

Using keyboard shortcuts to insert time in Sheets

When using keyboard shortcuts to insert time in Google Sheets, there is no automatic update option available. This method is only applicable for inserting the current date and time.

To insert the current date in Google Sheets, press the combination of Ctrl + ; and then press Enter. To display the current time in the spreadsheet, press the combination of Ctrl + Shift + :. The result will be the same as when using the functions.

Customizing date formats in Google Sheets

By default, Google Sheets will display time, dates, and months in the format that is automatically set based on the language you are using. However, you can also customize the date format according to your specific needs.

To specify the display format for the current date, click on Format, select Number > More Formats > More date and time formats.

Displaying the interface to adjust time format in Google Sheets. You select the desired date format and then click Apply to use it.

The new format will be immediately applied to the TODAY function that you have used in your Google Sheets dataset. Similarly, for the NOW function, we also follow the same process to change the format.

So now we know how to insert the current time into a spreadsheet in Google Sheets using various methods. The time format can be customized according to the purpose and requirements of the spreadsheet.

Wishing you success in implementing these techniques!

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