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Automatically Changing Dates

If Matthew types a date ending in the current year and then presses Tab or Enter, Word automatically inserts today's date in the yyyy-mm-dd format. For example, if he types "23 August 2005" and then presses the Tab key, the text is changed to "23 August 2005-10-13" (today's date being 13 October 2005).

This problem seems related to Word's AutoComplete feature (part of AutoText) misinterpreting what you are typing. For some reason the problem is not experienced by all Word users, and those in the UK seem to suffer it more for some reason. Regardless of where the user lives, however, it is still annoying.

One possible solution is to turn off the AutoComplete feature:

  1. Choose AutoCorrect Options from the Tools menu to display the AutoCorrect dialog box.
  2. Make sure the AutoText tab is displayed. (See Figure 1.)
  3. Figure 1. The AutoText tab of the AutoCorrect dialog box.

  4. Clear the Show AutoComplete Suggestions check box.
  5. Click OK.

You shouldn't have the problem any more, but other AutoComplete suggestions disappear, as well. If you still want to use AutoComplete, then the only other option (instead of the foregoing) is to change how you enter dates: Press Esc or Spacebar after typing your date and before pressing Tab or Enter.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (241) applies to Microsoft Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003.

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