Wrong Suggested Date

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated May 15, 2021)
This tip applies to Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003


Andy writes proposals that, naturally, include the current date. He's recently noticed that if he starts to type today's date, he gets an AutoText tip above his typing that shows yesterdays date, not today's. This occurs even though the Windows system date and time are correct. When Andy chooses Insert | Date and Time, Word gives the correct date, but if he chooses Tools | AutoCorrect and selects the AutoText tab, uncheck Show AutoComplete Tip for AutoText and Dates, selects OK then goes back and re-checks it, the correct date will appear when he starts typing.

The behavior being noticed by Andy is due to the way that Word sets its dates. When you first start the program, Word retrieves the system date from Windows and then stores that date in the AutoText/AutoComplete area. This is the date that appears when you start to type a date into your document. The date is only fetched from Windows once--at the start of your Word session--and then stored internally for use. If you leave Word open on your system, past midnight, then the AutoText/AutoComplete date will be incorrect; it still reflects the date when Word session started.

Andy actually noticed a couple of exceptions to this. First, when you use Insert | Date and Time, Word gives the correct date because this command actually goes and fetches the Windows date and time every time it is used. Further, when you turn off the Show AutoComplete Tip for AutoText and Dates checkbox, close the AutoCorrect Options dialog box, and then go back in and again choose the checkbox, you are forcing Word to again fetch the date from Windows--this is why it works properly after going through this process.

An easier approach is to simply exit and restart Word whenever you notice that the AutoText/AutoComplete date is incorrect.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (335) applies to Microsoft Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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