Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016. 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: Understanding Default Insert Date Formatting.
by Allen Wyatt
(last updated January 7, 2017)
To insert the date or time in a document, many people use the Date & Time tool on the Insert tab of the ribbon. When you choose this, you are presented with a dialog box that shows many different ways you can insert the date. The first option in the list of sample date formats always reflects how you have set the Short Date Style in your regional settings. If you want to change this date format, you must do so in Windows. The general steps are as follows, although they may differ slightly based on the version of Windows you are using:
Once you change the regional settings, the change is automatically available in Word. Thus, the next time you use the Date & Time tool, the different default date will be immediately available.
When you are using the Date & Time tool, remember that if you choose the Update Automatically check box at the bottom of the dialog box, the date is not inserted as text. Instead, it is inserted using the DATE field, with the /@ formatting switch set to match the date format you selected from the dialog box.
WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (10514) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Understanding Default Insert Date Formatting.
Learning Made Easy! Quickly teach yourself how to format, publish, and share your content using Word 2013. With Step by Step, you set the pace, building and practicing the skills you need, just when you need them! Check out Microsoft Word 2013 Step by Step today!
Word automatically stores lots of author-related information within a document. Because this data is stored in several ...Discover More
Word uses lots of dialog boxes as a way of setting configuration options and gathering information from users. When ...Discover More
Want to zoom in and out without the need to using the ribbon tools? You can create your own handy macros that do the ...Discover More
FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."
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.