Adding an Access Date/Time Stamp
In some Microsoft Office Access tables, it’s important to keep track of the date or the date and time when a new record is added. This is often referred to as a date or time stamp. If you find yourself constantly entering whatever today’s date is in your Access forms or tables, you are wasting valuable time. Access can do that for you, and you don’t have to be an Access expert to do so! Let’s look at how to add an Access date/time stamp automatically to new records.
This tip barely scratches the surface!
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Using the Date and Now Functions in Access
You can use the Date or Now functions to have Access automatically fill in the date or time when a new record is added. Use the Now function to fill in the date and time, or the Date function to fill in just the date.
There are a few ways to have Access insert today’s date, but the simplest way is add a simple Date() function to the Default Value property of your table.
Here are the steps involved:
- Open any table that contains a date field.
- Click the table design view.
- Select the date/time field
- In the field properties section at the bottom of the design view screen, make the following changes:
- Choose your date/time Format.
- Set the Default Value to =Date().
- You might also want to set the Required property to Yes.
- Set Show Date Picker property to Never.
When you are done, your properties window will look a little like this:
Now users will no longer need to enter the current date, it will automatically appear.
TIP: CTRL + ; will also insert today’s date into an Access table.
Likewise, to add the date and time, follow steps 1 through 4, then after choosing your date/time Format, set the Default Value to =Now(). All other steps remain the same. Here’s how your properties window will look with the date and time displayed.
And how the Access date/time stamp looks with these settings:
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Learn More about Microsoft Access
To learn more about Microsoft Access, read our bite-sized Access Software Tips. To dive in more deeply or to prepare for the Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) Certification exam for Access, register today for one of our Microsoft Access 2013 courses:
- Access 2013: Part 1 — In this course, you will learn how to use Access 2013 to manage your data, including how to create a new database, construct tables, design forms and reports, and create queries to join, filter, and sort data.
- Access 2013: Part 2 — You will expand your knowledge of relational database design, write advanced queries, structure existing data, share data across applications, and customize reports.
- Access 2013: Part 3 — Geared to current or future database administrators, this course teaches advanced Access features such as database management, advanced form design, packaging a database, encrypting a database, preparing a database for multi-user access and more.
Courses are also available for Access 2010. See our Course List for more information.