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: Quickly Inserting the Date Your Way.

Quickly Inserting the Date Your Way

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated October 22, 2016)
This tip applies to Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003


Several other WordTips explain how you can understand and change the default dates used by Word. Some people prefer a simple way of inserting the date, in their preferred format, using AutoText. To set up this method of date entry, follow these steps:

  1. Position the insertion point on a blank line.
  2. Choose Date and Time from the Insert menu. Word displays the Date and Time dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  3. Figure 1. The Date and Time dialog box.

  4. Choose the display format that is closest to what you want.
  5. Make sure the Update Automatically check box is selected at the bottom of the dialog box.
  6. Click on OK. The date, using the selected format, appears in your document.
  7. Select the date field and press Shift+F9. This displays the actual DATE field coding.
  8. Change the format within the quote marks to reflect your final format.
  9. Press Shift+F9 to display the DATE field results instead of the field coding.
  10. Select the date field again.
  11. Choose AutoText from the Insert menu. This displays a submenu.
  12. Select New from the submenu. Word displays the Create AutoText dialog box. (See Figure 2.)
  13. Figure 2. The Create AutoText dialog box.

  14. Type the word Date in the Name field.
  15. Click on OK. Your DATE field, properly formatted, is now saved under the Date AutoText entry.

Now, to use the entry, type the word Date and then press the F3 key. The word Date is replaced with your DATE field, as you saved it in AutoText.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (1265) 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: Quickly Inserting the Date Your Way.

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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