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: Inserting the Date in a Header or Footer.

Inserting the Date in a Header or Footer

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated July 9, 2020)

4

When creating headers or footers for your document, it is very common to insert the date into them. In this way the date is printed on every page of your document. To insert the date, you can follow these steps:
  1. Choose Header and Footer from the View menu. Word displays the Header and Footer toolbar.
  2. Position the insertion point within the header or footer at the place you want the date to appear.
  3. Click on the Insert Date tool on the Header and Footer toolbar. Word inserts today's date.
  4. Click on Close.
The date inserted in step 3 is the current date, meaning that the date used is dynamic. Today it shows today's date and tomorrow it will show tomorrow's date. When you use the Insert Date tool, Word actually inserts a DATE field into the header or footer. You can see the makeup of the DATE field by simply selecting it in the header or footer and pressing Shift+F9. The field is expanded, and you can make changes to the field, as desired. The Insert Date tool isn't the only way to insert a date in the header or footer, of course. Once you position the insertion point where you want it (step 2 in the above steps), you can choose Date and Time from the Insert menu and select the format you want used for the date.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (1420) 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: Inserting the Date in a Header or Footer.

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. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Updating an Entire TOC from a Macro

The TOC (Table of Contents) is generated by a field. This field may be updated in a macro using a single command line.

Discover More

Turning Off Bothersome Windows Messages

Bothered by messages from Microsoft letting you know about their various apps and tools? Here's a way to configure ...

Discover More

Creating Long Page Footers

Ever wish that you could create nice, long footers that appear at the bottom of each page when you print your worksheet? ...

Discover More

The First and Last Word on Word! Bestselling For Dummies author Dan Gookin puts his usual fun and friendly candor back to work to show you how to navigate Word 2013. Spend more time working and less time trying to figure it all out! Check out Word 2013 For Dummies today!

More WordTips (menu)

Form Fields in Headers and Footers

When working with form fields, you may want to place those fields in the header or footer of a document. Word won't let ...

Discover More

Copying Headers and Footers

Need to get headers and footers from one document to another? You can use the steps in this tip to help make quick work ...

Discover More

Pulling Headers and Footers from Other Files

You may have some standard headers and footers you want to make available in your document templates. This tip describes ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] (all 7 characters, in the sequence shown) in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is four less than 5?

2016-05-05 18:09:26

David

is there a way to change the date format in Word. I find the American use of "dd/mm/yy" confusing and illogical. Condusion could be eliminated with the use of "%d-%b-%Y" where d is day of month as decimal number, %b is abbreviated month name and %Y is year with century. Is there an option to change this in Word?


2015-05-13 18:39:27

Christel Deas

Hi there. When you open up the insert date/time on the design toolbar for header/footer, you will notice a box on the lower right that says "Update automatically". If you click on that it will insert a tickmark and presto, problem solved!
Cheers!


2015-04-03 11:10:08

Justin Revard

Good news, the date updates automatically. Not sure how the time updates, but the date is perfect. Very helpful.


2015-03-31 13:20:21

Justin Revard

I used this feature yesterday and have noticed the date did not update today. I did not see an "Insert Date" tool in the Header and Footer toolbar, but I used the "Date and Time" tool. When I click this it offers a list of formats for the date and time. Yesterday I picked the first option which is a standard date, but it did not update to today’s date when I opened the file this morning. Today I noticed a check box at the bottom of the format selection screen labeled “Update Automatically,” so I checked this and inserted the date with a format that included time. I did not see the time dynamically updating, but I am not sure if the date will update tomorrow. Any advice is most welcome. Thank you, Justin Revard


This Site

Got a version of Word that uses the menu interface (Word 97, Word 2000, Word 2002, or Word 2003)? This site is for you! If you use a later version of Word, visit our WordTips site focusing on the ribbon interface.

Videos
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.