Unlike Microsoft Word ribbon, Google Docs Editor interface has limited number of menus and icons. Users can easily pick up the function from menu and insert in the documents. However, there are some functions also have shortcuts to quickly insert without going through menu route. Inserting date is one such a function which you can use to various dates and format as per your need.
Inserting Date in Google Docs
If you are familiar with Google Slides, it is easy to insert current date using =TODAY() function. However, it works differently in Google Docs and you can use the following options for inserting the date and customizing its format. Learn more on how to add or subtract dates in Microsoft Excel.
1. Insert Date from Menu
The first option is to go to “Insert” menu and select “Date” option.
This will show you a calendar or date picker from which you can pick any date from the past, future or today’s date. You can also click on “Today” link showing below the calendar to insert current date in Google Docs.
2. Using @ to Insert Date in Google Docs
Instead of going through the menu, you can use @ symbol to insert dates in Google Docs. Simply type @date where you want to insert the date. It will show a list of options for choosing your date as shown below.
There are four options to insert date with @ symbol:
- @date – this will open the calendar to pick up any date.
- @today – show “Today’s date” to insert current date.
- @tomorrow – show “Tomorrow’s date” for inserting tomorrow’s date.
- @yesterday – show “Yesterday’s date” to insert the previous day’s date.
Instead of @date, you can also use @day to insert today’s or yesterday’s date.
3. Changing Inserted Date
Once you inserted a date, you can change it by clicking on the date. It will show the same date in the dropdown and clicking on it will show the calendar. You can choose different date from the calendar or click “Today” to insert today’s date.
4. Choose Date Format
As you can see in the above screenshot, Google Docs inserted date like Jun 26, 2022. If you want to change the date format, click on the date and then click on the gear icon showing at the bottom (against “Book meeting” option). This will show you the list of available date formats and choose the format you like to change the format of inserted date.
Unfortunately, this works for only the selected date and you need to change the format for each inserted date separately. Also, the format is independent in Google Docs app and not related to the setup in your computer.
5. Create Calendar Event from Inserted Date
It is also possible to create a new calendar event directly from the inserted date in Google Docs. Hover or click on the inserted date and then click “Block meeting” link showing on the pop-up. This will open a calendar with the selected date. You can fill the event details like name, location, description and save the event in your calendar.
I am trying to do something different with the date. Since I am using Google Docs personal, I can not use any of the Docs Templates. I have to build my own letterhead. When I select the Letterhead Template from my bookmarks, when it opens, it asks if I want to make a copy. I do.
That places a date where I want it to appear. However, the date is that of the last time I needed the letterhead. I have to click on it and reenter @date. Not a tragic situation, but an unnecessary step.
When the date appears, it is black text in a gray surround. I can not make that gray background disappear.
I can not imagine the Gods at Google would have designed something like this. Clearly, I am doing something wrong, I just do not know what.
Your guidance is appreciated.