Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, and 2013. 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: Different Ways of Inserting Dates.

Different Ways of Inserting Dates

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated March 26, 2018)

2

Word provides a couple of different ways to insert the current date in a document. One common way is to display the Insert tab of the ribbon and then click Date & Time in the Text group. Word displays the Date and Time dialog box and you can choose how you want the date and time inserted in your document. (See Figure 1.)

Figure 1. The Date and Time dialog box.

At the bottom-right of the Date and Time dialog box there is an interesting check box entitled Update Automatically. If this check box is not selected, then when you click OK, the date is inserted in your document as text. If you select the check box, then the date is inserted as a DATE field. The difference between the two, of course, is that when a date is inserted as text, it is static; it doesn't change. If the DATE field is used, then the date is dynamic, and it always changes to reflect the current date.

If you are a keyboard-oriented person, then you can insert today's date by pressing Shift+Alt+D. This shortcut always inserts a DATE field, the same as if you had used the Date and Time dialog box and selected the Update Automatically check box.

Even though the Date and Time dialog box and the Shift+Alt+D shortcut do similar things (allow you to insert the date), there is no "association" between the two. Shift+Alt+D is an independent shortcut; it is not a shortcut for the Date and Time dialog box. This means that the settings in the Date and Time dialog box are not configuration settings for Shift+Alt+D. Instead, the keyboard shortcut always inserts the dynamic DATE field, regardless of how you last used the Date and Time dialog box.

The upshot of this distinction, of course, is that if you want to put a static, non-changing date into your document, you should either just type it or you should use the Date and Time dialog box with the Update Automatically check box unselected.

If you are insistent on using a keyboard shortcut, you will need to use Shift+Alt+D to insert the date, press the left arrow key until you are in the middle of the inserted date, and then press Shift+Ctrl+F9 to unlink the field. (Unlinking a field replaces the field code with the result of that field code. It effectively gets rid of the field.)

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (11811) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, and 2013. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Different Ways of Inserting Dates.

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

Headings On Your Printout

If you've got a table that spans multiple printed pages, you probably want to repeat a row or two of that table as a ...

Discover More

Picking a Desktop Icon Size

Are the icons on your desktop displayed at the right size for your preference or needs? Windows provides three different ...

Discover More

Displaying Shortcut Keys in ScreenTips

ScreenTips can appear with or without shortcut keys displayed in them. Here's how to control whether they appear or not.

Discover More

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!

More WordTips (ribbon)

Editing a Document with Many Pages

Working with large or long documents in Word can present some interesting challenges. The most common challenge is that ...

Discover More

Deleting a Page

Want to delete the current page? There is no automatic command to perform this task in Word, but you can create your own ...

Discover More

Meaningless Text

Need to quickly put some text into a document, even if that text is essentially meaningless? Here's how to put this type ...

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}] 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 eight minus 8?

2016-12-21 03:12:58

Silviu

Thanks Jerry! It works!


2016-07-22 11:19:57

Jerry

The old Alt-N-D-Enter works for me in Word 2007. The keys are typed in sequence. No holding down multiple keys. It works for me.


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.

Newest Tips
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.