We have explained how to insert date in Google Docs Editor in our previous article. However, Microsoft Word is the most powerful word processing app when it comes to desktop documentation. Word also offers easy ways to insert various date and time to keep track of your documents. Here we will explain the steps with Word app comes as part of Microsoft 365 subscription in Windows and Mac.
Date and Time in Word Documents
There are few reasons you would like to insert the date/time in your documents. One is to show the date when you started creating the document. In this case, first you will enter the date as a plain fixed text indicating the date of start. The date will not dynamically change on each day a per your calendar. This is super easy as you can simply use a text box to insert a date or use other available options in Word.
Second scenario is to dynamically update the date to current calendar date whenever you open the document. This is the ideal option you wish to use for showcasing the current date in the footer or on the document header. Similarly, here are some of the dates that you can insert in Microsoft Word documents.
- Current date as a text
- Current date as a field which will update automatically whenever you open the document
- Last printed date
- Last saved date
- Create on date
- Published date
1. Insert Date and Time in Word Windows
First let us explain with Windows Word version to insert date/time using various options.
1.1. Insert Current Date and Time from Ribbon Menu
- Open you document and keep the cursor where you want to insert the date.
- Go to “Insert” menu and click on “Insert Date and Time” option available under “Text” group.
- It will show you a pop-up with all the available format from which you can select your preferred one.
- You can either the format to show only date, only time or both date and time together.
- Select the language from the “Language” dropdown to show the month and day in the corresponding languages. The languages showing here is not from your system language. Office apps will have separate language pack which you can install by navigating to “File > Options > Language” section.
- Check “Update automatically” option to dynamically update the date to current date whenever you open the document. Otherwise, it will show a static date which should be like the starting date of your document. Enabling this option will also show a small update button when you select the inserted date. You can click on that button to update the date manually if required like updating your table of content items.
- Click on “Set As Default” button to use the current format as a default setting for the selected language. If you have setup different format previously, Word will ask you to confirm the change in format. Click “OK” to set the new format as your default setting.
- Finally, click “OK” button to insert the date/time in your document.
1.2. Insert Dynamic Date in Document Footer
If you want to insert the date/time in footer section, then click on “Footer” option in the ribbon and select “Edit Footer”. This will place the cursor in the footer area for typing custom content. Now, go back to “Insert” menu and click “Insert Date and Time” icon as explained above to insert current date and time in footer. Make sure to select “Update automatically” option so that the footer will always show the current date.
1.3. Using Field to Insert Various Dates in Word
Quick Parts help you to use already defined property or filed in Word or you can create a custom item and save it in the gallery. For inserting date, click on the “Explore Quick Parts” icon showing under “Text” group in the “Insert” menu. If you simply want to insert the published date, go to “Document Property” and select “Publish Date” option. This will insert a box with date picker from which you can manually select the published date for your document.
If you want to insert current date and time with dynamic update, then select “Filed” menu. On the “Filed” pop-up that appears, select “Date” from the huge list of available filed names. Choose the date/time format and check the options that you need. Finally, check “Preserve formatting during updates” option to retain the format and click “OK” button. This will insert current date/time with an option to update. Though Word will automatically update the date/time when you open the document, you can also manually click on the date and then click update option or select “Update Field” option from right click menu.
You can use different field names to insert various dates like last saved date (SaveDate), last printed date (PrintDate), etc.
1.4. Insert Current Date and Time with Keyboard Shortcuts
If you quickly want to insert the current date with dynamic update then use the following keyboard shortcuts in Word.
- Alt + Shift + D – insert current date
- Alt + Shift + T – insert current time
Word will use your system date and time format when you use keyboard shortcuts.
2. Insert Current Date and Time in Word for Mac
If you are using Word app as part of Microsoft 365 subscription in Mac, it offers similar features to insert current date/time.
- Go to “Insert” menu and select “Date and Time…” option. On the pop-up that appears, select the date format, language and insert the date. You can choose to dynamically update as well as set the selected format as your default setting.
- Alternatively, go to “Insert > Field…” menu. Select, “Date and Time” as categories and choose the filed name as “Date” to insert the current date. Similarly, you can select “Time”, “EditTime”, “CreateDate”, “PrintDate” or “SaveDate” filed to insert corresponding field in your document. If you want to change the format, click on the “Options…” button and choose your preferred format.
- Last option is to go to “Insert > AutoText” menu and select the date relevant fields that you want to insert. For inserting automatically updating current date, choose either “Author, Page #, Date” or “Confidential, Page #, Date” option. This option is ideal to insert date and other details in the footer section of your document. In addition to current date, you also have options to insert created on and last printed dates from “AutoText” menu. You can easily insert the date/time in footer by going to “Insert > Footer” menu from the ribbon and select “Edit Footer” option. And then you can insert date from “Insert > AutoText” menu.
On Mac, you can update the date/time fields by right clicking on it and select “Update Field” option.
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