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: Different Ways of Inserting Dates.

Different Ways of Inserting Dates

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated July 2, 2018)

9

Word provides a couple of different ways to insert the current date in a document. One common way is to choose Date and Time from the Insert menu. Word displays the Date and Time dialog box and you can choose how you want the date and time inserted in your document. (See Figure 1.)

Figure 1. The Date and Time dialog box.

At the bottom of the Date and Time dialog box there is an interesting check box entitled Update Automatically. If this check box is not selected, then when you click OK, the date is inserted in your document as text. If you select the check box, then the date is inserted as a DATE field. The difference between the two, of course, is that when a date is inserted as text, it is static; it doesn't change. If the DATE field is used, then the date is dynamic, and it always changes to reflect the current date.

If you are a keyboard-oriented person, then you can insert today's date by pressing Shift+Alt+D. This shortcut always inserts a DATE field, the same as if you had used the Date and Time dialog box and selected the Update Automatically check box.

Even though the Date and Time dialog box and the Shift+Alt+D shortcut do similar things (allow you to insert the date), there is no "association" between the two. Shift+Alt+D is an independent shortcut; it is not a shortcut for the Date and Time dialog box. This means that the settings in the Date and Time dialog box are not configuration settings for Shift+Alt+D. Instead, the keyboard shortcut always inserts the dynamic DATE field, regardless of how you last used the Date and Time dialog box.

The upshot of this distinction, of course, is that if you want to put a static, non-changing date into your document, you should either just type it or you should use the Date and Time dialog box with the Update Automatically check box unselected.

If you are insistent on using a keyboard shortcut, you will need to use Shift+Alt+D to insert the date, press the left arrow key until you are in the middle of the inserted date, and then press Shift+Ctrl+F9 to unlink the field. (Unlinking a field replaces the field code with the result of that field code. It effectively gets rid of the field.)

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (3418) 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: Different Ways of Inserting Dates.

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

Inserting the Saved Date In a Header or Footer

When preparing a worksheet for printing, you may want to include in the header or footer the last date the workbook was ...

Discover More

Changing Elements in Lots of Charts at One Time

Got a bunch of charts that you need to make formatting changes in? You can use a macro (or two) to apply the formatting ...

Discover More

QuickWords in Word

WordPerfect users coming to Word may miss a feature called QuickWords. This tip examines some ways you can get around the ...

Discover More

Do More in Less Time! Are you ready to harness the full power of Word 2013 to create professional documents? In this comprehensive guide you'll learn the skills and techniques for efficiently building the documents you need for your professional and your personal life. Check out Word 2013 In Depth today!

More WordTips (menu)

Changing the Format of Existing Dates

There are a myriad of ways in which a date can be formattedâ€"day first, month first, number of digits in the year, etc. ...

Discover More

Determining the Month of the Year

Your macro code may need to determine the month of the year represented by a particular date. You can find the desired ...

Discover More

Forcing the Date to the Next Wednesday

Working with today's date in Word is easy. Trying to manipulate dates to come up with a future one can be an entirely ...

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}] 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 nine minus 6?

2018-08-28 16:32:00

TJ

Alt+I+T works best for me in Word, Office 2016


2018-08-14 16:57:39

David Ward

Another possibility for entering a dynamic current date, as opposed to a static date, is to create a macro. After clicking on Run Macro under Macro , I used the keyboard combination Ctrl + Shift + D (though the combo could be anything you choose), then went to the Date and Time box, clicked on update automatically, then clicked on OK. I then clicked on Stop Macro.

That's fewer steps each time to get the date, which I do often on almost all of my Word docs.


2017-12-10 04:50:48

tomas

Hello,

I want to make a table for some work schedules, in which I want to put the dates of several days in a table.

But of course now I'm putting the date of each day, I would like to know if there is any way to put the date of the first day and the others are updated alone.

Monday, 4. 12 2017 (Changing the first, the others are updated alone)

Tuesday, 5. 12 2017

Wednesday, 6. 12 2017

Thursday, 7. 12 2017

Thank you very much


2017-11-15 16:02:53

Rono

To use the keyboard shortcut to enter a static date, you could go into the Options and switch the keyboard shortcut to launch the date/time dialog box. That way, Shift+alt+D followed by Enter inserts the current date at the cursor location.


2017-01-11 01:05:19

Anbu

Pls Share all short Cut keyes


2016-01-20 19:21:13

grace

If you use this command a lot, which is prevalent in law offices, you need to create a macro and do a key assignment of your choice. I chose Alt+D.


2015-05-24 22:32:12

Graham Hyman

I just created a macro (Insert Tab->Date and Time->format I wanted and made sure the Update automatically box was unchecked. I assigned it to ALT-D and it works fine.


2015-03-22 05:36:35

Jonathan Kaplan

Thank you. By default, the Date and Time in the ribbon unless the windows is maximized. Effectively, there is no shortcut for inserting date and time, if it requires so many keys.


2014-11-26 15:40:17

Alex

Well explained


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.

Newest Tips
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.