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Is there a way in Excel to get today's date, then convert it into plain text so it can't be changed again when you open the file at a later date?

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I think you need to expand on your question, as there are a few possible answers. Are you just looking for a short way to get today's date, rather than typing it in? Is this for some kind of form where you want the date locked when the form is filled in? etc. – Aerik Feb 9 '11 at 22:44
up vote 4 down vote accepted

Select cell. Press "Control" and ";" together. Format cell to show date as text. Save.

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Sounds like you're holding the shift key down as well.

  • Ctrl + ; is date.

  • Ctrl + Shift + : is time.

Alternatively, =TODAY() will give you the date, but it is dynamic. However, if you copy and then Paste as Value (from Paste Special…) you'll end up with a static date.

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Thank you so much, I'm actually on Mac, and assumed I should use the Cmd button instead of Ctrl, but Cmd+; pastes the time, no matter if you press Shift or not. But Ctrl+; on Mac does actually work. Thanks. Sorry I couldn't choose your answer. – Anriëtte Myburgh Mar 8 '11 at 8:24
You could update your question to indicate that you wanted an answer for a Mac. I use both a Mac and a PC and could have provided either answer. – mockman Aug 13 '11 at 0:13
Done, but the shortcuts stay the same for both Mac & Windows anyway. – Anriëtte Myburgh Aug 31 '11 at 14:00

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