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I want to fill a cell with the current time, so it changes every time I open the file.

I currently use the now() function for that, but it returns both the date and the time.

I want to see only the time. Is there a way to do that?

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

try this formula


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Note that TRUNC(NOW()) = TODAY() – barry houdini Mar 25 '12 at 20:21
This gives me some kind of digital number, unless I format the cell as date... But I don't want to have to format the cell explicitly. With the now() function, the cell formats without any external intervention... – Lea Cohen Mar 25 '12 at 20:27
In both cases the underlying data is a Date Serial Number. In the first case Excel is just applying the format for you. You have no option but to apply a format. – chris neilsen Mar 25 '12 at 20:30
@Lea_Cohen you could use TEXT function to get the time, e.g. use =TEXT(NOW(),"hh:mm") - change "hh:mm" part as required - no formatting required (although the cell now contains text rather than a time - not crucial if this is for display) – barry houdini Mar 25 '12 at 20:38
@Barry that will do it. (My guess - next question: how do I use that time in a formula) – chris neilsen Mar 25 '12 at 20:42
  1. Right Click on Cell
  2. Click Format Cells
  3. Click on Custom on left side
  4. Select the time format as h:mm:ss AM/PM
  5. Click OK

One more Solution:-

=TEXT(NOW(), "hh:mm:ss AM/PM")
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Thanks, but this is what I do now. What I'm looking for is a way that will save me these 5 steps... – Lea Cohen Mar 25 '12 at 20:28
Why not write a macro that does these 5 steps then? – dsolimano Mar 25 '12 at 20:31
@LeaCohen: I have updated my answer with one more solution. – Siva Charan Mar 25 '12 at 20:40
@Siva_Charan Snap! see my comment........... – barry houdini Mar 25 '12 at 20:42
@barryhoudini: Sorry I didn't noticed your comment. Since you have posted 1 min before me, should I remove my answer. – Siva Charan Mar 25 '12 at 20:43

To just show the time you would hold --> CTRL + : <-- this will display the time only.

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Hi Admingrl, and welcome to SuperUser. Your answer is great if I want a shortcut for displaying the time one-time-only. But I was looking for a way to display the current time dynamically - that each time I open the spreadsheet, the cell will show the current time. – Lea Cohen Feb 1 '15 at 7:12

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