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Calculated Dates

Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Word 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Word, click here: Calculated Dates.

John asked if there is a quick way to put a calculated date into a letter created in Word. He wanted to send out mail-merged letters with a date that is 30 days after the date on which the letters were created.

Unfortunately, there is no native way to do this in Word. For instance, there is no field code you can use to insert a calculated date. If you are using Excel or Access as your data source for the mail merge, the simplest solution may be to just add a field in the data source that shows the calculated date. (It is very easy to do this in both Excel and Access.) The data source field can then be placed in the mail-merge document and everything is set.

If you want to stick with Word and cannot modify the data source (perhaps someone else supplies it), then you can use a macro to insert the future date. The following VBA macro will do the trick:

Sub FutureDate()
    Selection.TypeText Text:=Format(Date + 30, "mmmm d, yyyy")
End Sub

This macro determines today's date, adds 30 days to it, formats it as specified in the format string ("mmmm d, yyyy") and inserts it into the document. If you assign this macro to a shortcut key, you can quickly insert your future date whenever you want.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (810) applies to Microsoft Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Word (Word 2007 and later) here: Calculated Dates.

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