Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Excel 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Excel, click here: Inserting the Current Time with Seconds.

Inserting the Current Time with Seconds

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated December 10, 2016)


As you have learned in other ExcelTips, you can use Ctrl+: (that's a colon) to enter the current time into a cell. The resulting cell value is equal to the hours and minutes of the current time. In other words, the seconds will always be zero.

If you want to insert the current time and have it include the seconds, the best way is to use a macro. You can then assign the macro to a keyboard shortcut or a toolbar button (or both) so it can be immediately popped into place. The following macro will do the trick nicely:

Sub TimeStamp()
    ActiveCell.Value = Time
    ActiveCell.NumberFormat = "h:mm:ss AM/PM"
End Sub

Notice that the time is placed in the cell, and then the cell is formatted to show hours, minutes, and seconds.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (2012) applies to Microsoft Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Excel (Excel 2007 and later) here: Inserting the Current Time with Seconds.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...


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What is 4 + 4?

2017-02-25 22:05:26


OMG!!! Thank you for this solution. I searched high and low for this answer!!!

2016-12-10 05:42:41

Rick Rothstein

I am confused. When I run the macro without that NumberFormat line of code, the time still goes into the cell correctly, with the seconds, and the cell's format is changed to Custom "h:mm:ss AM/PM" automatically. I do not see why you thought you needed to manually format the cell via the macro. If it makes a difference, I am using XL2010 on Win 8.1.

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