Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Office 365. If you are using an earlier version (Word 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Word, click here: Age Calculation with Fields.

Age Calculation with Fields

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated January 9, 2021)

If you desire, you can use fields to calculate an age. For instance, the field could calculate the number of years between some base date and today's date. The following compound field will do the trick:

{ = INT({ DATE \@ "yyyy" } + { DATE \@ "M" } /
12 + { DATE \@ "d" } / 365.25 - YYYYb - Mb / 12 -
Db / 365.25) }

As those who are familiar with fields know, each pair of braces in this sample represents a new field. Thus, to put in the entire compound field, you will need to press Ctrl+F9 a total of four times. This can get a bit complex, as you cannot copy what is shown above and paste it into your document. Instead, you need to type it all in. For instance, here are the first few steps:

  1. Position the insertion point where you want the field to be inserted.
  2. Press Ctrl+F9. This inserts a pair of field braces—your first pair. At this point the insertion point should be positioned between the opening and closing brace.
  3. Type the first few characters, = INT(. You are now ready to put in your second set of field braces.
  4. Press Ctrl+F9. Word adds your second pair of field braces, and the insertion point should be positioned within this second set.
  5. Type the next few characters, DATE \@ "yyyy".
  6. Press the Right Arrow a couple of times to move to the right of the closing brace for your second field.
  7. Type the plus sign (+).

As I said, these are only the first few steps, but it should give you the general idea of how this compound field should be entered—you can't paste it; you must type it. Examine the compound field shown above and note everywhere that a pair of {braces} occurs—those are field braces and MUST be entered by pressing Ctrl+F9, as illustrated in the steps above.

In addition, you should replace the YYYYb, Mb, and Db placeholders with the year, month, and day of month for the base date. For instance, if your birthday were 21 June 1959, then you would replace YYYYb with 1959, replace Mb with 6, and Db with 21.

When you then calculate the compound field (by selecting it all and pressing F9), it is replaced with a number representing the number of years between the base date and today.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (9541) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Office 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Age Calculation with Fields.

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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