I've looked around online and have found references to an "Insert => Date & Time" capability in Numbers for OSX. But it's not there in my version of Numbers (3.0.1 -- 1483). Has this capability been removed?

I've pasted a screenshot of my Insert menu below.

my insert menu

  • 2
    "Insert -> Date & Time" is now back as of at least version 4.3.1. Note that you need to double-click the cell to enable that functionality. It ignores any Data Format you have applied to the cell (meaning it won't follow any pattern you've established or data format you've applied, and defaults to it's own). The resulting entered data isn't even formatted as Date & Time, instead as Automatic.
    – George C
    May 1, 2018 at 19:52
  • In 5.3, that feature is there, but greyed out.
    – Calion
    Jan 4, 2019 at 20:53
  • As mentioned in my earlier comment, you have to double-click in the cell to activate the insertion point in order to enable the Insert -> Dat & Time menu item.
    – George C
    Sep 7, 2019 at 14:24
  • @GeorgeC: Yes the Insert > Date & Time command is a bit of a bad joke. Not only does it ignore the cell's specified data format, but it sets the time to 12:00:00 am. How is that Date and Time?! I reported this as a bug / feature request on Apple's feedback form way back in March 2018, and as of September 2022, they haven't bothered to fix it. Might be time to hit them with some more feedback methinks.
    – Kal
    Sep 15, 2022 at 1:09

6 Answers 6


Unfortunately, Apple removed that option in the menu bar. However, you can still get the today's date by manually typing it (obviously) or by selecting the cell and typing "=Today", followed by the return key.

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You can also type "=Date", followed by the return key. You can then manually select the date there.

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  • 10
    While both of these methods will indeed work, note that they will auto-update themselves as opposed to entering a fixed date and time.
    – George C
    Feb 20, 2015 at 18:19
  • 1
    To convert the formula to a fixed value (which won’t auto update), you can copy the cell and use Edit > Paste Formula Results.
    – duozmo
    Mar 19, 2018 at 3:12

Just happened upon this thread looking for an answer to the same question. What I have discovered is to type "= Now." This will give you the current date and time at that moment.

  • 6
    But it will also update it; so if you re-open the spreadsheet later on, it'll show the current time, not the time when you set it. Feb 24, 2017 at 15:49

As others have mentioned, the Insert > Date & Time command is back, but it's seriously flawed:

  1. If you have the cell Data Format set to 'Date & Time', it ignores this completely, overwriting it with a long formatted string and resetting the cell format to 'Automatic'.
  2. While the command is called Date and Time, it only inserts the current date. The time is always reset to 12:00:00 am!

This is either a bug, or just very poor design. I reported this to Apple back in March 2018, but over four years later they still haven't fixed it.

So, what can you do? Using =TODAY or =NOW is not a drop-in replacement as @GeorgeC pointed out in the comments. But thankfully, Apple gives us apps like Automator and Shortcuts, which allow us to roll our own solutions. Let's do it in the newer Shortcuts app:

  1. Launch the Shortcuts app and click + in the toolbar to create a new shortcut.
  2. Click Shortcut Name and type 'Insert Date and Time'.
  3. From the Action Library tab in the right sidebar, find the Current Date action and add it by double-clicking or dragging it to the editor workspace.
  4. Add the Stop and Output action after this. It should automatically add the Date variable from the previous action.
  5. Select this Date variable, and in the pop-up, change the Type from Date to Text.
  6. Switch to the Shortcut Details tab in the right sidebar, and select Use as Quick Action. (I also gave mine a keyboard shortcut, which works in TextEdit, but not Numbers for some reason.)
  7. In Numbers, double-click a cell and use the right mouse button to bring up the contextual menu. With any luck, Insert Date and Time will now be an option at the bottom of this menu. I find it works great—the way Apple's command should (but doesn't) work!

Here's a screenshot showing the basic setup in Shortcuts:

Shortcut app editor window

  • Woo hoo! This is the answer! Shortcuts has come a long way. I'll have to look into it some more. Thanks, Kal.
    – Gorm
    Dec 6, 2022 at 19:49

According to Apple (http://help.apple.com/functions/mac/5.0/), you'll need to enter "=NOW()". Not having used Numbers very much, I didn't know you had to enter the () after the word.

  • This appears to be true although Numbers has some sort of aggressive autocomplete that makes it pretty hard to avoid to entering NOW as a function
    – kuzzooroo
    Sep 18, 2016 at 1:36

Type the formula =NOW, copy it to the clipboard, and paste the formula results. It's not exactly a hotkey, but it is mouseless and works "out of the box".

=NOW, Enter, Up, Command-C, Shift-Command-V


When you "double click on the cell" in Numbers v.10.1 "Insert date and time" is no longer greyed out!

  • This works but only inserts the date for me, not the time. Am I missing something?
    – duozmo
    Nov 20, 2020 at 13:01

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