Shortcuts to insert current date and time ( CTRL + ; ) don't work in EXCEL 2013

Copper Contributor

Recently upgraded to Excel 2013


One of the most used (at least for me) shorcuts:


1)  CTRL + ;    to insert current date in a cell

2)  CTRL + :    to insert current time in a cell


both don't work


the command does not return anything


the thing happens on 5 computers where Office 2013 has been installed, so it's probably not a thing having to do with virus/malware problems.


all other shortcuts seem to work though


Can you please help, I really use the two above frequently




21 Replies

Hello Raffale,



I am using a german version, we have different Shortcuts for that (CTRL + . and CTRL + :). It works in 2013 as it worked before. Is your install in the same language as it was before? Maybe consult the help file to find out the correct combination?


Good Luck,



Hi Jens,


Yes, these shortcuts are almost from VisiCalc time and shall work on all available versions of Excel, at least for standard US layout.


Anyway, here are links on shortcuts


If to check another language just select it from very bottom of the page, e.g. German


From second one strange thing, for versions 2007, 2010

Gibt das aktuelle Datum ein.

for 2013

Gibt das aktuelle Datum ein.

for 2016 it is back

Eingeben des aktuellen Datums 

If i understood German correctly, know only few words on it. 


Great links. And strangely the documentation seems to be false. It is CTRL+. (= STRG+.) in all versions in german. I teach Excel and in all versions it has been CTRL+. I also just tested CTRL+; in 2016 and that doesnt work in the german Version.

So still no idea what the correct Shortcut is in the language Version Raffaele uses (sounds italian to me?).

Hi all,


I have Excel 2016 in German and I am using a german keyboard. For inputting the current date in an empty cell, I can use Ctrl+Dot as known from previous versions. So, in this case, it's for now an error in online help article regarding Ctrl+Semicolon.


For Excel 2016, there are some more errors in the Online Help Article for the German shortcuts, such as some Alt shortcuts, for example Alt+M which opens the Tell Me Box instead of the formulas tab. I already reported this to the MS localization team and they are going to check this.


Another problem in the online help article for the shortcuts (at least for German) is, that the shortcuts always refer to an English US keyboard. There is a note about this on the top of the article.


Therefore, the mentionned shortcuts (keystrokes) can lead to confusion and may be appear as incorrect. An example: for applying a date format, the German Online Article mentions that I can use Ctrl+Shift+#. This does not work, I have to use Ctrl+#. This is due to that # is on a german keyboard reachable without pressing the shift key. But from an en_US keyboard layouts' perspective, Ctrl+Shift+# is correct.




So, sometimes, it can be useful to try a mentionned shortcut from the online help in both combinations (Shifted/Unshifted) depending from the keyboard layout.





Sorry for not having specified that. I'm Italian, I use a QWERTY Italian keyboard.

The shortcuts in ITA keyboard have always been CTRL+;/CTRL+:


And also the help file in Italian says it :


It works if you enter in the excel field before pressing CTRL+;


Double click on the field and press CTRL+; and it works.


Strange, it shall work without entering into cell edit mode

In 365 it was until late ( CTRL + ; )  --  Now thanks your post and after some while I find it on ( CTRL + . ) I have but no clue what benefit this change shortcuts around has for an Microsoft employee, for Millions of users searching what it might be today it is a huge waste of time.


Add, some kind of sorry, found out most probably why:

It was ( CTRL + ; ) on 365 with English Keyboard and English Excel.

Now it is ( CTRL + . ) on 365 with English Keyboard but German Excel.


That makes a difference, for what reason whatsoever we need sometimes . and sometimes ;

It would help those users which travel lots and far and use different types of IT like I do if Microsoft could decide that they like the most. The dot or the semicolon. We are already a global community, thanks also to Microsoft.

For Russian Windows users (even if you use it English interface and English Excel): CTRL+; (on Ж button) is not works too. You're need to use it CTRL+SHIFT+4

Для тех у кого русская виндоуз, чтобы вставить текущую дату в ячейку необходимо нажать CTRL+SHIFT+4

I have tried all these suggestions but none work. ;(. I have Excel 365 and I change the language between ROU / ROS & ROU / RO & ENG / US & ENG / INTL and still not working. 

If somebody can help me I'll be glad


Try Ctrl + .

For whatever reason they have different shortcuts in the various languages. 



Hm. I have installed English, Ukrainian, German language pack. It works in all of the three with Ctrl + .

You know you have to press those two keys at the same time, right?

I press Ctrl, hold it and then press in addition  the Dott . Sometimes computer do not do what they are supposed to do for some silly little reason.

It changed from Ctrl + : after an update for whatever was the innitiative.

Maybe try to reinstall the language packs.

I have also the Microsoft Keyboard Layout Creator 1.4 in use. Changed some letter around on the keyboard. Quite helpful tool.

Hope some of these ideas help,the shortcut is quite helpful, use it often.

Good luck in trying these.



May I know if there any solution that in windows 10 + office 365 + Traditional Chinese keyboard? It seems only displaying ";"  instead of ";". 

English WIN 10 + Excel 365 English + QWERTZ german
CTRL (STRG in german) + SHIFT + ;
works fine

@German_Chris Thank you for the answer. With me sometimes it works just fine but sometimes it does not.

I have but to say I am german, have a Ukrainian Laptop with (most probably russian) Windows set to english, (still always russian comments popping up, so I guess it is a russian windows they sold me) - english set Excel 365 and 3 languages permanently in use on an dual language qwerty english keyboard (especially with imprints for the ukrainian language) and using the Microsoft Keyboard Layout creator for adjusting some keys from russian use to ukrainian.

Now I am german, english speaking, living in Ukraine and learning ukrainian as 3rd language, that's still some challenge for the windows world. I do some french but that's nasty on that keyboard (you know these accontegraphs and güs and so :) - that's difficult - especially in google translator, it is always asking the french keyboard. So if I do french all day I could adjust to but like this it is a bit nasty.


So, I am kind of a hardware software language pioneer trying to sort out my crosscultural language minutely changing computer system. Living just in the english world does not really have those problems. So I understand that the Microsoft guys have some problem with it.


Asking for my date in excel, sometimes it does with the : sometimes with the . sometimes it does not do it at all. So I am living with three kind of surprise options. Often now I type it in full because it is faster than to search and hope.



I know I'm too late but for current date try ctrl + fn + ;

and for current time try ctrl + fn + :

worked for me

@George-S thank you so much for your help! I got really frustrated trying to find a combination that actually works! Thanks once again for sharing it with everyone and good luck!