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Shortcuts for Date/Time in Access and Excel

Summarising Access and Excel keyboard shortcuts and presenting one of our own for simple entry of combined current date and time.

Last updated on 2018-08-03 by David Wallis.


Built-in Keyboard Shortcuts

These keyboard shorcuts will work in cells in Excel worsheets and in text boxes in Access forms:

Ctrl+  inputs today's date.

Shift+Ctrl+;  inputs the current time.

Ctrl+; space Shift+Ctrl+;  inputs today's date and current time.

I know these shortcuts work for US and UK keyboards on a PC. But I understand people using German and Italian keyboards can experience problems. So, if you're not on a US/UK keyboard perhaps run a test and consult the web if results are not as intended.


Customised Date/Time Shortcut

Users I've spoken to say they find the Ctrl+; space Shift+Ctrl+; shortcut cumbersome to use. Frequently getting it wrong and spending time trying to put things right, they tend to avoid it.

So, what I've done is to create a simple macro that when run inputs the current date and time. This is the macro for Excel:

Sub dmwSetDateTime()

On Error Resume Next

ActiveCell = Now

End Sub

To run the macro I usually assign the keyboard shortcut Shift+Ctrl+T:

Shift Ctrl T

Using the assignment Shift+Ctrl+T in Excel avoids a clash with Ctrl+t, which is Excel’s default shortcut for inserting a table.

This is the macro for Access:

Sub dmwSetDateTime()

On Error Resume Next

Screen.ActiveControl = Now()

End Sub

On assigning this macro to Ctrl+t won't interfere with any default Access shortcuts as far as I’m aware.

“I see no progress in this industry. These clocks are no faster than the ones they made a hundred years ago.”

Henry Ford (while visiting a museum)