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: Monday's Date on Friday's Report.

Monday's Date on Friday's Report

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated April 13, 2015)

Every Friday Ned produces a report that gets distributed in his company. He would like the heading of the report to always have the previous Monday's date in it. He wonders how he can have it dynamically display the date for the Monday of the current week.

If Ned were producing the report in Excel, calculating the past Monday's date would be very easy. This isn't Excel, however; the report is in Word. So the task is nowhere near as easy. There are a few of approaches you can take,however.

One approach is to actually create the Word document for your report on Monday. You don't have to put anything into the report; just create the document that will be used at the end of the week to create the report. You can then include a field in the header that inserts the date the document was created (the CreateDate field). It will always reflect the Monday on which the document was created.

If that doesn't fit your needs (perhaps you can't, for some reason, create the document on the Monday), you can try to create a date using a nested field. The following is a possibility:

{ date \@ "MMMM { ={date \@"dd"} -5} yyyy"}

Remember that each pair of field braces needs to be entered by using Ctrl+F9. The compound field will work for many dates, but will run into problems if the Friday on which you calculate the field is within the first five days of the month. (The calculation in the inner field will return a negative value on those days.) There is no easy way around this problem.

The easiest approach is to use a macro to insert the date. Macros can do date calculations quite easily. Here is an example of a quick little macro that can calculate the proper date:

Sub MondayBeforeToday()
    Subtract = Choose(Weekday(Date), 6, 7, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
    DateFormat = "dddd mm/dd/yyyy"
    Selection.InsertBefore Format((Date - Subtract), DateFormat)
End Sub

All you need to do is to position the insertion point where you want the date and then run the macro. It can be run on any day of the week and it will always insert the date of the previous Monday.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (9800) 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: Monday's Date on Friday's Report.

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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