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: Inserting Today's Date.

Inserting Today's Date

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated August 26, 2020)


Many types of documents require the date. You may be working with a memo, a letter, a report, or some other document in which you must put the date. Word makes this easy by using the Date and Time option from the Insert menu. To insert the date, follow these steps:

  1. Position the insertion point where you want the date to appear.
  2. Display the Insert tab of the ribbon.
  3. Click the Date & Time tool, in the Text group. Word displays the Date and Time dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  4. Figure 1. The Date and Time dialog box.

  5. Select a format for the date.
  6. Click on OK.

If you choose the "Update Automatically" check box at the bottom of the dialog box, the date is inserted as a field and it will always be updated to reflect the current date as you work on the document on future days. This can be very helpful if you are working with a letter template that you want to always be "in sync" with the day you write the letter.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (10078) 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: Inserting Today's Date.

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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What is three less than 9?

2018-09-19 12:27:17

Ted Duke

If all else fails, latest Word as of 9/19/2018, enter the words Date and Time in the field in Word's upper ribbon that is immediately to the right of the Help tab and asks Tell me what you want to do.

2018-09-18 04:41:14

Graeme Orchard

This doesn't work - there is no date and time tool displayed.
Poor article. Useless.

2018-09-11 13:48:12

Jennifer J

For years I've used Alt+i +t (hold down Alt then type i followed by t [in my mind Insert Time]) to insert both the date and time together -- after I set up my default to be the pattern/format I want: 9/11/2018 12:42 PM.

2018-02-23 18:16:04


Thank you Des for being so kind and understanding. It has not been clear that inserting this would enable the date to change every day upon opening the doc. But I will give it a try and see if it works. I also apologise as I have made that grave internet error of not reading the whole thread of comments. On doing so now I see a simple way to insert the date for each doc but just pressing [alt]+[shift]+[D]. Sounds easier.

2018-02-22 03:56:40

Des Lavender

Nope, it's definitely you!! :) When you open a new document, where do you think it comes from? I'll spell it out for you:


Open up this Template and insert all the fields and codes (as per Wyatt above) that you want. Save and close it. Then all your new documents that are based on this template with open up with todays date or whatever you've created.

As has been said below already, Ctrl + Shift + F9 to remove the code and set its value.

Not sure why no-one else has been able to provide you with this solution........ I've been doing this since the earliest version of Word that allowed the insertion of fields - it's still the same principle. In the words of Aleksandr Orlov, "Simples"!

You're welcome. :)

2018-02-22 02:29:53


Des, I am sorry, but I think you sound a bit confused. What I would like to be able to do is open a new document and already have the date in the header or footer. I don't want to have to put it in manually every time, either by inserting a code or inserting it myself. I would like it to already be there so that every time I open a new document it has already been inserted automatically. Why do I want this? I have as yet not been able to find a way to do this in Word 2010 and have not found anyone anyone anyone who knows how to do it. So I am assuming it is not possible. Is this concept too advanced?

2018-02-21 03:50:14

Des Lavender

OK Irene, you sound a bit confused. You don't see the point of this code but then go on to ask "Is there an option for Word (2010) to automatically insert the date in every document newly created? " Well, yes! Open the Normal.docx template and put it in there!

2018-02-17 19:12:21


I don't see the advantage of this. You could just simply type the date in, that would be quicker.
Is there an option for Word (2010) to automatically insert the date in every document newly created? So that way I don't need to manually insert the date each time I start a new doc?

2017-09-05 04:15:58

Des Lavender

Ctrl + Shift + F9 to remove the code and set its value.

2017-09-04 04:49:48

Merle Germain

I have just read your article about automatically inserting a date into a word 2007 document. It is very useful in a template but my question is will the date remain the same as when the document was created when I save it, e.g. I use this in a letterhead template for a letter to a customer which I then save. Will the date change the next time I open the customer's letter or will it still be the original date of compilation. Your advice would be appreciated.

M. Germain

2017-02-01 08:09:16


Dear All;

can any body tell me that how can I put the whole date with day, year by just pressing 3 words

e.g. I type Jan it writes as "January" when I write January and press "space" it complete the date with year. plz help me in this case. I am tired for search this option

2015-11-12 05:50:34


how to insert auto date (different date) in every page of word?( for yearbook )

2015-11-03 15:50:11

Gary Edler

I agree with the comment submitted by Doug on 06 Oct 2015 - there is no Date and Time field in the Insert ribbon of my excel 2010.

2015-10-06 10:21:37


Except THERE ISN'T a date/time field in the Insert ribbon

2015-08-07 16:19:11

Patsy Balcom

VERY HELPFUL... Making a template Thanks

2015-04-22 17:49:12


The date code can easily be converted to a "hard date" (today's date) by clicking into the field and pressing Ctrl+Shift+F9.

2015-04-21 09:05:53

Glenn Case

I agree with the comments on Auto Update; I prefer dates entered as text rather than as a field. Alt-Shift-D inserts a field.

Since I use the Ctrl-; key combo in Excel quite a bit, I have created a macro to insert the date text and assigned it to the same key combo. The macro was quite easy to create with the macro recorder, and I assigned the key combo at the same time.

For anyone interested, here's the code:

Sub InsDate()
Selection.InsertDateTime DateTimeFormat:="MMMM d, yyyy", InsertAsField:= _
False, DateLanguage:=wdEnglishUS, CalendarType:=wdCalendarWestern, _
End Sub

2015-04-20 11:28:10


Alt+Shift+D will insert the date in the Windows default format. To change the default format in Windows7, go to Control Panel/ClockLanguageRegion options.

2015-04-20 09:20:59


I use 'createdate' in templates which always enters the date a document is created when using that template. That solves the problem of dates updating when not required to when based on a template.

2015-04-20 04:17:20

Des Lavender

Shift + F9 will show you the formatting behind the visible date - useful if you want to build up your own custom date with the appropriate ordinal, e.g. "st" or "nd" and Ctrl + Shift + F9 will convert the formatting to the current value.

2015-04-20 02:57:20

Richard Price

Barbara - one way is to bookmark the date on the first page. Select the date, then on the Insert tab click Bookmark in the Links pane, enter a new name (e.g. DocDate) then Add. On subsequent pages you can then cross-reference the bookmark: on the References tab click Cross-reference in the Captions pane, select Bookmark in the "Reference type" drop-down, "Bookmark text" in the "Insert reference to" drop-down and the bookmark name you have defined in the pane below.

2015-04-18 16:30:57


I totally agree with Doug -- especially for those of us in the Legal field. 99.999% of the time, I need documents, letters, memos, anything, to have the original date on them. Auto Update can create horrendous problems.

That said, is there a way (I know there is, I just can't remember what it is) to link the date on the first page of a letter to the date in the header on the following pages so that if you're working on a letter that takes several drafts over multiple days, each time you change the date on the first page, the date on the following pages all change too?

Thanks in advance for your help!!

2015-04-18 14:12:15

doug ellice

Auto Update can be a terrible idea - never use it for a regular letter you plan to save for possible future reference. To make up an example, if I need to send my insurance company a copy of a letter I wrote them last month, I want the copy of the letter to (continue to) show last month's date, not today's date!

2015-04-18 10:33:12


[ALT]+[Shift]+D inserts the current date.

2015-04-18 07:18:10


How can I insert date with a key combination?
Thank you, enjoy your publications very much.

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