Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Word in Microsoft 365, and 2021. 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: Automatically Determining a Due Date.

Automatically Determining a Due Date

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated February 11, 2023)
This tip applies to Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Word in Microsoft 365, and 2021


Sharen asked if there is a way to automatically calculate a due date in a letter that has its beginnings as the result of a mail merge. The easiest answer may be to examine the data source you are using for your mail merge and add an extra "due date" field to the source. For instance, if you are using an Excel worksheet as your source, you might add a field (column) that contains a date that is thirty days in the future. Likewise, if you are using Access as your data source you could do the same thing.

This approach would, of course, give you a static date that is thirty days in the future based on when you performed your mail merge. If you wanted something a bit more dynamic, then you are left to work entirely within Word. For instance, you might want to open the merged letter, update the letter's date, and have the due date automatically change based on changing the letter date. Unfortunately, there is no way to do this within Word, since there is no way to do calculations on dates within fields. This means that you must still manually update the due dates.

One way to make the task a bit easier, so that you don't have to always examine a calendar to figure out thirty days in the future, is to use a macro. The following is a very simple macro that will insert a date thirty days from now:

Sub FutureDate()
    Selection.TypeText Text:=Format(Date + 30, "mmmm d, yyyy")
End Sub

This macro determines today's date, adds 30 days to it, formats it as specified in the format string ("mmmm d, yyyy"), and inserts it into the document. If you assign this macro to a shortcut key, you can quickly insert your future date whenever you want, just by hitting the shortcut key.

Note:

If you would like to know how to use the macros described on this page (or on any other page on the WordTips sites), I've prepared a special page that includes helpful information. Click here to open that special page in a new browser tab.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (10197) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Word in Microsoft 365, and 2021. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Automatically Determining a Due 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. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Hiding Gridlines

For those times when you remove the borders from your tables, Word provides a way that you can display non-printing ...

Discover More

Tying Workbooks Together

If you work with multiple workbooks at the same time, you might wonder how to tie them together so they open and close ...

Discover More

Understanding the COMPARE Field

The COMPARE field is rather esoteric, but it can be helpful when you need to compare two values using fields. The result ...

Discover More

Comprehensive VBA Guide Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) is the language used for writing macros in all Office programs. This complete guide shows both professionals and novices how to master VBA in order to customize the entire Office suite for their needs. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2010 today!

More WordTips (ribbon)

Formatted Merging

When you use the mail-merge capabilities of Word, the information merged takes on the formatting of your source document, ...

Discover More

Selecting Different Trays in a Mail Merge

When you create a mail-merged document, you might want some pages of the document printed on paper from one printer tray ...

Discover More

Getting Rid of Mail Merge Section Breaks

When you create a group of documents from a merge file, Word normally inserts section breaks between iterations of the ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] (all 7 characters, in the sequence shown) in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is four minus 4?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


This Site

Got a version of Word that uses the ribbon interface (Word 2007 or later)? This site is for you! If you use an earlier version of Word, visit our WordTips site focusing on the menu interface.

Videos
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.