Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Entering dates and times
You can change the default date, time, currency, and numbering settings through the
Clock, Language, And Region item in Windows Control Panel (or Date, Time, Language,
And Regional Options in Windows XP). These settings determine how Excel interprets
your date entries. For example, with regional options set to Italian, typing a date in
d/m/yy format results in a properly displayed date, but if you type the same date with
regional options set to English, the entry is interpreted as text.
If your entry doesn’t match any of the built-in date or time formats, Excel picks the format
that’s most similar to your entry. For example, if you type 1 dec , you see the formatted
entry 1-Dec in the cell. In the formula bar, the entry appears as 12/1/2013 (if the current
year is 2013) so that you can edit the date more easily.
You can also type times in a time format. Select a cell, and type the time in one of the
following forms: h:mm AM/PM, h:mm:ss AM/PM, h:mm, h:mm:ss, or the combined date and
time format, m/d/yy h:mm. Notice that you must separate the hours, minutes, and seconds
of the time entries by colons.
For more information about custom formats, see “Creating your own date and time formats”
later in this chapter.
If you don’t include AM, PM, A, or P with the time, Excel uses the 24-hour (military) time
convention. In other words, Excel always assumes that the entry 3:00 means 3:00 AM, unless
you specifically enter PM .
You can enter the current date in a cell or formula by holding down Ctrl and pressing
the semicolon (;) key. This enters the date stamp in the short-date format currently set in
Control Panel. Enter the current time in a cell or formula by holding down Ctrl+Shift and
pressing the colon (:) key. This enters the time stamp in h:mm AM/PM format. (Of course,
the colon and semicolon occupy the same key—the Shift key changes the entry to a time
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