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I've got a spreadsheet in Google Drive and one column is meant for the date the entry is made. Is there a button to do this? I'm aware of the functions =NOW() and =TODAY() but their description says "the value is updated when the document recalculates". However I reopened the document a few minutes latter and it still had the same time. Why is this?

It would be even easier that when I start typing in a new row the column for the date auto-populates.

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So, you know how to downvote, perhaps now you can accept one of the ansers given. – Jacob Jan Tuinstra Aug 24 '13 at 6:39
up vote 4 down vote accepted

I was able to reproduce your findings, however, opening a spreadsheet doesn't result in a re-calculation.

Press Ctrl + R to recalculate the entire sheet.

There's one concern about this method: it changes all NOW() formula's into the current date/time.
Therefore you might want to consider pressing Ctrl + ; in the creation date cell and add the date manually.

Reference: Recalculation of Sheet

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So the difference between Ctrl+R and Ctrl+; is +R updates all the NOW() and +; does not? – Celeritas Jul 24 '13 at 19:21
Ctrl+R gives you a solution to your problem, but it might create one at the same time. That's why I added the Ctrl+; because this adds the date "physically". – Jacob Jan Tuinstra Jul 24 '13 at 19:30

Another option to consider is =GoogleClock(). This function differs somewhat from =NOW() in that it has a granularity of one minute (rather than one second), but it is guaranteed to update each and every minute, and be correct (to the nearest whole minute) on opening/refreshing the spreadsheet.

If you use:


you will have a granularity of one second, it will update with every edit, and be no less than one minute off when you open the spreadsheet. But it will also update every minute regardless of editing, which may not be desirable.

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