## Key Takeaway:

- Excel’s DATE function is a quick way to enter a date into a cell by inputting a year, month, and day. You can also format the date to appear exactly as you prefer by using the Format Cells option.
- The TODAY function automatically updates a cell with the current date, eliminating the need to manually enter the date each day. This feature is especially useful for tracking progress or deadlines and helps to ensure that data is continuously up to date.
- The NOW function can be utilized to enter the current date and time into a cell. This feature is useful when tracking time-sensitive information, such as project durations or deadlines.
- To quickly enter time in Excel, use the TIME function by inputting the hour, minute, and second values. You can also use the HOUR, MINUTE, and SECOND functions to separate the hours, minutes, and seconds of a time value.
- Combine DATEVALUE and TIMEVALUE functions to easily enter both dates and times into a cell. Alternatively, use the DATE and TIME functions together to input a date and time value in a single cell.
- Format dates and times in Excel by using the Format Cells option to select a date/time format that meets your needs. Alternatively, use the TEXT function to customize the display of dates and times in a cell.
- Calculating the difference between two dates can be accomplished using the DATEDIF function, while subtraction can be used to calculate the difference between two times. The number of days between two dates can be calculated simply by subtracting the earlier date from the later date.

Are you tired of manually entering dates and times into Excel? Learning how to quickly enter these items will save you time and energy. You’ll be amazed at how simple it can be!

## Quick Ways to Enter a Date

As an Excel user, I’m aware of how long it takes to enter dates and times – especially when working with large data sets. In this section, I’ll show you some speedy, efficient methods to enter dates in Excel! Firstly, we’ll cover the **DATE function**, which lets you input the date in a specific format. Next, we’ll look at the **TODAY function** – it’s an easy way to enter the present date in just a few clicks. Finally, let’s talk about the **NOW function** – it inputs both the current date and time into any cell.

*Image credits: pixelatedworks.com by Joel Woodhock*

### Utilize Excel’s DATE function

To use the **DATE function**, just type in `=DATE(year, month, day)`

into the cell where you want the date. Replace the “year”, “month” and “day” with the dates you need. E.g. for the 4th of February 2021, enter `=DATE(2021, 02, 04)`

.

When you put the formula in the first cell, drag the handle downwards. Excel will *automatically fill in the next cells with dates incrementally calculated from the start date*.

Using the DATE function lets you calculate *date differences and work with formulas with dates easily*. Plus, if anything needs altering or an error happens, you can fix it quickly.

The DATE function was first introduced in Excel version 5 in 1993. Before this, there was no way to work directly with dates in sheets – only through general arithmetic.

If you do data entry tasks or just want to enter dates without constantly correcting errors, using the DATE function is a good idea. After that, try the **TODAY Function** in another helpful way!

### Make use of the TODAY function

The TODAY function in Excel is a speedy and efficient way to insert the current date into your spreadsheet. By taking advantage of this function, you can always make sure the correct date is automatically recorded and updated.

To utilize the TODAY function, implement these five steps:

- Choose the cell you want to enter the date
- Type
**=TODAY()** - Hit Enter
- Format the cell as a date if needed
- The date will now appear in that cell!

The PLUS of using the TODAY function is that every time you open or refresh your workbook, Excel will update the date to the present day. This saves time and avoids errors from manually changing the date yourself.

Furthermore, you can use other formulas or functions that rely on cells with TODAY functions, to easily calculate data based on today’s date.

A great example of this function’s usefulness is for tracking deadlines or schedules. By creating formulas that depend on today’s date, you can quickly identify which tasks are due and which are overdue.

Next, we look at another built-in function in Excel – NOW() – which lets us keep track of both current date and time.

### Take advantage of the NOW function for current date and time

Utilize the **NOW function** to quickly input dates and times in Excel! Follow these steps:

- Click on the cell where you want to insert the date.
- Type “
**=NOW()**” (without quotes) in the formula bar. - Press enter or click outside of the cell.
- The cell should now show the current date and time.
- To personalize the date’s appearance, right-click the cell and select “Format Cells…” from the dropdown menu.
- Choose your desired Date/Time format from the list.

Use this simple function to keep track of data entry progress or note when a task was completed. The **NOW function** updates each time your workbook is opened or changes are made. If you need a stable timestamp, consider copying and pasting (value only) once you have your desired timestamp.

Discover more methods for entering Time in Excel – learn how to manage dates and times like a pro!

## Simple Methods for Entering Time in Excel

When you’re in Excel, entering dates and times can be tricky. Thankfully, knowing the right methods makes a huge difference. Here, I’ll show you some easy ways to enter time in Excel. We’ll focus on two sub-sections to save time and avoid errors. First, we’ll look at the **TIME** function. Next, we’ll check out the **HOUR**, **MINUTE**, and **SECOND** functions. By the end, you’ll feel more confident entering time data in Excel.

*Image credits: pixelatedworks.com by Joel Jones*

### Benefit from the TIME function

The **TIME function** in Excel is great for users who need precision in terms of time when creating tables. It saves time and effort as you don’t need to separate hours, minutes and seconds.

Here’s a **6-Step Guide to Benefit from the TIME function:**

- Identify the cell to enter the time
- Type
**=TIME(h,m,s)**in the cell, where**h is hours, m is minutes, and s is seconds** - Enter the values in the parenthesis; note Excel uses military time
- The result will be formatted with AM or PM
- Copy the formula over entire columns/rows by dragging it
- Excel can add onto your time if needed.

Functions like **HOUR, MINUTE, and SECOND** make it more efficient. They give a specific part of the time, like just the hour. They can be used with other functions like SUM. Pairing the functions gives more granular output with more detail. Using them makes Excel sheets easier to manage.

### Understand how HOUR, MINUTE, and SECOND functions work

You must know the **HOUR**, **MINUTE**, and **SECOND** functions to properly enter time data into Excel. Here are 5 steps to get you started:

- The
**HOUR**formula returns the hour part of a time value. E.g. =HOUR(A1) gives 9 when the cell contains 9:30:00 AM. - The
**MINUTE**function works the same way but gives the minute part. Thus, =MINUTE(A1) gives 30 for the same example. **SECOND**extracts the seconds. E.g. =SECOND(A1) results in 30 if the cell holds 12:45:30 PM.- These formulas help when working with complex timesheets or entering much data into Excel.
- Utilizing them correctly makes it
*simple to manipulate and analyze your data accurately*.

Once you have mastered these formulas, you will have more control over your data entry needs when using them with other formulas.

*Inaccurate manual or automated entry of hours and minutes in spreadsheets can lead to costly errors*. To avoid this, many organizations use special software like timesheet project management tools such as Trello or Asana.

To sum up, understanding how **HOUR**, **MINUTE** and **SECOND** formulas work is critical for accurate time tracking in Excel. This guide gives you an idea of what each formula does – so you can start utilizing them with confidence.

## Easy Steps for Entering Date and Time

Tired of entering dates and times in Excel manually? I know how **tedious and time-consuming** this is. Don’t worry, there are simple steps to quickly enter these! Let’s explore two methods.

- The first one involves using
**DATEVALUE**and**TIMEVALUE**functions together. - The second one requires combining the
**DATE**and**TIME**functions.

With these, you can save time and make data entry more accurate in Excel.

*Image credits: pixelatedworks.com by Adam Arnold*

### Use DATEVALUE and TIMEVALUE functions together

Want to use **DATEVALUE** and **TIMEVALUE** functions together? Here’s how:

- Enter the date in a cell using
**DATE**function. For example, type in “=DATE(2021,5,12)” for May 12, 2021. - Enter time in another cell with
**TIME**function. Type in “=TIME(13,30,0)” for 1:30 PM. - Use the ‘
**&**‘ concatenate function to combine date and time values in a new cell. The formula should look like “=DATE(cell containing date)& ” ” &TIME(cell containing time)”. For example, “=DATE(A1)&” “&TIME(B1)” combines May 12, 2021 and 1:30 PM. - To display it properly, format the cell as date/time. Select the cell and go to “Format Cells.” Under “Number,” select “Date” or “Time,” or both.

This method is helpful if you have multiple sources with different formats or need to make calculations involving both dates and times. It’s fast, accurate and eliminates confusion!

### Combine DATE function and TIME function

To combine Excel’s **DATE and TIME functions**, follow these **3 simple steps**:

- Select a cell for the combined date and time.
- Type
`=DATE(year,month,day) +TIME(hour,minute,second)`

. - Replace the values with your desired date and time.

You can use these functions to create one value that shows a specific date and time. This is great for tracking events or schedules that happen on certain days.

Plus, Excel has lots of features like **conditional formatting and filtering**. This makes it easy to identify patterns and trends in your data.

For decades, businesses have used Excel to manage their data. This includes *dynamic array features* in Excel 365 that help users generate sets of dates with unique inputs.

Finally, we’ll cover some tips for **formatting date and time data in spreadsheets**.

## Formatting Date and Time in Excel

**I’m a big Excel user so I know how significant it is to format dates and times correctly.** Getting this data correct can make spreadsheets more useful and easier to read. Let’s explore some tips for formatting date and time in Excel.

We’ll start with changing the display to fit your preferences.

Then, we’ll look at the **TEXT** function to rapidly switch up date and time formats.

These hacks are great for pros and newbies alike, saving time and giving you a smooth data entry experience.

*Image credits: pixelatedworks.com by David Woodhock*

### Change the display format according to your requirements

To change the display format in Excel according to your preferences, follow these few simple steps:

- Select the date or time cell you want to format.
- Go to the Home tab, click on the Number Format drop-down arrow.
- Choose the desired date or time format from the list.
- If you can’t find one, click on More Number Formats at the bottom.
- In the Format Cells dialog box, select Custom and enter a date or time code in the Type box.

This makes data presentable and easier to read. For instance, if you want to change “MM/DD/YYYY” to “DD-MMM-YY”, simply follow the steps. You might also want to change the display format if there are data from different sources with various time zone formats. One example was when I worked with an **Indian colleague** whose dates were in a different order than mine. We eventually changed our display formats for consistency.

The **TEXT function** can also help you alter the date and time formats in Excel easily.

### Employ the TEXT function to alter the date and time formats

Type **“=TEXT(“** into a cell where you want to apply the format. Select the cell that contains the date or time you want to format. Follow this with a comma (“,”). Enter the format code in quotes (e.g., **“dd/mm/yyyy”** or **“h:mm:ss AM/PM”**). Finish with a closed parenthesis (“)”). Press enter and the formatted date or time should appear.

The **TEXT function** is great for customizing dates and times. Copy and paste **“=TEXT(A1,”dd/mm/yyyy”)”** down column B for instance. You can also combine multiple codes together by using an ampersand (“&”). For example, **“=TEXT(A1,”mmm-dd-yy”)”** for “Sep-02-21”. Now let’s learn about working with **Dates and Times in Excel**…

## Working with Dates and Times in Excel

**Excel users – I’m one of you!** And I know how tough it can be to work with dates and times. So, I’ve figured out a few tricks to make it easier.

Let’s explore how to use the **DATEDIF** function to quickly find the gap between two dates. And how to subtract two times for the difference between them. Lastly, we’ll learn how to figure out the number of days between two dates with a formula. Use my tips to make date and time work in Excel a breeze!

*Image credits: pixelatedworks.com by Adam Jones*

### Find the difference between two dates using the DATEDIF function

To work out the difference between two dates in Excel, you can use the **DATEDIF function**. Here’s a 3-step guide to help you:

- Choose an empty cell you want your result to appear in.
- Type “=DATEDIF(” into the cell.
- Enter the arguments for the function:
**Start_date**,**End_date**, and**Unit**.

The first argument (**Start_date**) is where you enter the date of the earlier event. The second argument (**End_date**) is for the date of the later event. The last argument (**Unit**) specifies what type of difference you want to calculate – days, months, or years.

For example, if you want to find the number of days between May 1st and 10th 2021, type “5/1/2021” as **Start_date**, “5/10/2021” as **End_date** and “d” as **Unit** into your formula.

Remember, when using this function with months or years units, it rounds down to whole values. But, for days unit it counts complete days elapsed.

The **DATEDIF function** is great for calculating age based on birthdate and current date values. You can use it to tell someone precisely how many days old they are.

Now let’s talk about calculating the difference between two times using simple subtraction.

### Calculate the difference between two times using simple subtraction

To find the difference between two times, follow these steps:

- Enter the first time in Excel in the format of
**hour:minute, e.g. 8:30 or 13:45**. - Put the second time below or beside the first time in a separate cell.
- Choose an empty cell to show the result. Start with an ‘=’ sign.
- Type the reference of the second cell with a ‘-‘ sign.
- Add the reference of the first cell and close it with a parenthesis. Hit ‘Enter’. You’ll get the answer in negative hours and minutes.

For example, say an employee clocks in at **8:00 AM** and clocks out at **5:00 PM**. To calculate their daily working hours, subtract the clock-in from the clock-out. The result will be the total number of hours worked.

Calculating differences between two times is common for payrolls and for tracking delivery times. Excel offers various formulas, including **NETWORKDAYS.INTL** and **DATEDIF**.

One Excel user tracked his car’s fuel consumption by noting down fuel levels and total travel time between stops. This helped him figure out fuel use per unit distance travelled for optimization.

### Calculate the number of days between two dates using the simple formula

Calculating the number of days between two dates is essential for workplace tasks and personal projects. Follow these **steps** to get accurate results:

- Insert the start date and end date into separate cells.
- Subtract the earlier date from the later date using a minus sign. For example, ‘=B1-A1’ in a new cell.
- Format the resulting cell as a number.
- If you want to exclude weekends or holidays, use the
**NETWORKDAYS**function.

Remember to check that the cells are formatted correctly before entering data. Otherwise, Excel may interpret them wrong and your calculation would be inaccurate.

Don’t miss out on this time-saving skill! Try calculating the number of days until an upcoming event or deadline today.

## Five Facts About How to Quickly Enter Dates and Times in Excel:

**✅ You can enter the current date or time into a cell by pressing “Ctrl + ;” or “Ctrl + Shift + ;”, respectively***(Source: Microsoft)***✅ You can enter a range of dates or times by selecting the cells and dragging the fill handle***(Source: Excel Easy)***✅ You can use date and time functions, such as “TODAY()” and “NOW()”, to automatically populate cells with the current date and time***(Source: Exceljet)***✅ You can control the format of dates and times by using the “Format Cells” dialog box***(Source: Ablebits)***✅ Excel can store dates and times as numbers, allowing you to perform calculations and manipulate them like any other type of data***(Source: Excel Campus)*

## FAQs about How To Quickly Enter Dates And Times In Excel

### How do I quickly enter dates and times in Excel?

To enter a date or time in Excel, you can use some shortcut keys. For example, to enter the current date, press Ctrl + ;. To enter the current time, press Ctrl + Shift + ;. To enter a specific date, type the date in the cell using the format that you want, such as dd/mm/yyyy or mm/dd/yyyy. To enter a time, type the time in the cell using the format that you want, such as hh:mm:ss.

### How do I fill in dates and times in a series?

You can use the fill handle to quickly fill in a series of dates or times. First, select the cell or cells that you want to fill in. Then, click and drag the fill handle (the small black square in the bottom right corner of the selection) to the cells that you want to fill. Dates and times will be filled in automatically based on the pattern that Excel identifies.

### How do I convert text to dates or times in Excel?

If you have text data in Excel that you want to convert to dates or times, you can use the Text to Columns feature. First, select the cells that contain the text data. Then, click the Data tab on the ribbon and click the Text to Columns button. In the Text to Columns Wizard, select “Date” or “Time” as the type of data that you want to convert to. Follow the prompts to specify the format of the text data and the destination cells for the converted data.

### How does Excel store dates and times?

Excel stores dates and times as serial numbers, which are the number of days since January 1, 1900 (or January 1, 1904 for Macs). Times are stored as decimal fractions of a day, where 1.0 represents 24 hours (or 1,440 minutes or 86,400 seconds). When you enter a date or time in Excel, it converts it to the appropriate serial number or decimal value.

### What is the maximum and minimum date that Excel can handle?

The maximum date that Excel can handle is December 31, 9999, and the minimum date is January 1, 1900 (or January 1, 1904 for Macs). Any date outside that range will be displayed as a series of number signs (#####).

### How do I calculate the duration between two dates or times in Excel?

To calculate the duration between two dates or times in Excel, you can subtract the earlier date/time from the later date/time. The result will be a decimal value that represents the number of days (including fractions) between the dates or times. To display this as a more user-friendly format, you can apply a custom number format to the cell. For example, to display the duration as hours and minutes, use the format [h]:mm.

Nick Bilton is a British-American journalist, author, and coder. He is currently a special correspondent at Vanity Fair.