How to Insert Dates with the DATE Function in Google Sheets

You may be working on a spreadsheet in Google but you need each column to mark the date and you don’t know how. Don’t worry, in this article we will teach you easily.

How to insert dates in Google spreadsheet?

insert date in spreadsheet with worksheet

You may have used the functions = NOW () and = TODAY () to add the date to your spreadsheet. However, this function has as a description ‘the value is updated when the document recalculates’. So many close the sheet and reopen it, but the date remains the same. Why is this happening?

The idea is that when you write a new row in your spreadsheet in Google, the date can be filled in automatically. But you should keep in mind that opening a spreadsheet does not result in a new calculation. On the other hand you can create a custom template for Google Sheets.

What you need to do is press Ctrl + R to make your sheet recalculate. However, carrying out this method has a small drawback, and it is that when doing this combination of commands, they will change all formulas in NOW () to the current date and time.

So if this method doesn’t appeal to you, you can use the command Ctrl +; in the cell where the creation date is located and add the date manually.

To make it much easier for you and not see inserting these codes as something very complicated or difficult to remember, we will write you the commands and what each one is for.

  • Ctrl +; so you can insert the current date
  • Ctrl + Shift +; (Ctrl + 🙂 with this you can insert the current time
  • Ctrl + Alt + Shift +; (Ctrl + Alt + 🙂 and with the latter you can insert both the current date and time.

How to insert dates in Google Sheets with a Mac OS?

Google Sheets with on-screen graphics

Many of the Mac Os users do not know how to insert these codes in the Drive sheet. Why? Because these computers do not have the Ctrl key. If that is your case, do not worry, since you simply have to replace Ctrl by button ⌘

However, it is important to note that this method does not work in the Google Sheets mobile application. This appears to be due to the fact that the mobile application does not have similar functionality. You can also import Excel files and sheets into Google Docs.

= NOW () gets to update the date and time current at the time an edit is made to the spreadsheet. Due to this, it is not recommended to record hours, it is more, it does not even have ‘Paste only values’

In case you want to get today’s date in a cell of the spreadsheet in such a way that it does not change over time, then we have a method for this.

You can write = today () in a cell as a frozen header once. This will cause it to change as the date changes as well.

If you need to add today’s date, you can simply copy the cell and then press Paste Special then Paste Value but only in the desired cell. However, you can share a Google Sheets spreadsheet in the same way.

Another option you can use is the = GoogleClock () function. This function differs from = NOW () in that it has a granularity of one minute instead of one second. But it gives you the guarantee that it will be updated every minute without fail. When you open your spreadsheet, the date will update to the nearest minute. How do you do it?

You must use = NOW () + GoogleClock () * 0. You will have a granularity of one second and it will also be updated with each edition. However, you should keep in mind that it will also be updated every minute regardless of the edition you are using, which can turn out to be somewhat annoying for some.

If you are going to use macros, You must go to your Tools sheet and then select Script Editor and paste the following code into it:

  • function currentStaticDate () {
  • var spreadsheet = SpreadsheetApp.getActive ();
  • spreadsheet.getCurrentCell (). setValue (new Date ());
  • };

Save and go back to the sheet and press Import script with Tools -> Macros -> Import. Add the shortcut with Tools -> Macros -> Manage macros.

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