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: Dates Updating when Converting.

Dates Updating when Converting

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated October 15, 2016)

Amorette wrote concerning a problem she had when converting her WordPerfect documents to Word. When opening them in Word, the conversion goes just fine, except that dates typed within the original document are automatically replaced by the date on which the conversion is done. Amorette wondered how this could be prevented.

It would appear that the dates in the WordPerfect files are not dates at all, but the equivalent of the various DATE fields in Word. When these are converted to Word, of course, the DATE fields are updated to the current date.

Since the WordPerfect file contains the equivalent of a Word DATE field, it is probable that the date would update even if the file were opened in WordPerfect. It is possible, however, that the field uses some switch to stop updating, and therefore would not update when opened in WordPerfect. The switch may not be recognized by Word during the conversion, so it is ignored.

The only way to test this hypothesis, of course, is to open the files in WordPerfect. Once they are opened, you could then replace the DATE-equivalent fields with actual dates and resave the documents. These could then be opened in Word with no problems.

If you don't have a copy of WordPerfect available, either on another office computer or on a friend's machine, then you may need to make some assumptions about the dates in the original files and simply replace them with the desired dates. For instance, you may decide to use the file creation dates for the original WordPerfect files.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (1670) 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: Dates Updating when Converting.

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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