Insert Date and Time: MS Word

Dennis Faas's picture

You can type today's date quickly by using MS Word's AutoComplete. Word's nifty feature that anticipates what you're trying to do and types it for you. You can also insert the date and time from the menu bar.

If you can't remember the date, it's not a problem. The computer keeps track and inserts the correct date for you. The way you insert the date depends on whether you plan to print this document once or use it regularly.

Need to put a time stamp on a document? There's no need to look at your watch and type it by hand.

For a One-Time Use

Follow these steps to type today's date in a document you'll only use today.

  1. Begin to type the month, say "Janu."
  2. After a few letters, Word anticipates the name of the month and supplies it in a little yellow box.
  3. Press Enter to complete the month name. Don't worry -- the insertion point will not go to a new line. Press the Spacebar, and Word supplies today's date in the little yellow box.
  4. Press Enter to complete today's date, or continue typing to ignore it.

The date is typed in the document for you.

For a Document Used on Various Days

If you want to print the letter again tomorrow, the date will not be current. Instead, you can insert a special code called a field that automatically inserts the current date whenever you print the document. To do so:

  1. Choose Insert | Date and Time. This reveals the dialog box.
  2. Choose the correct format for the date and/or time. If you want to insert the date as a field that Word will update automatically, select the check box for Update Automatically. Click OK.
  3. The date (or time) is inserted in the document. If you selected the Update Automatically check box, the date appears with a shaded gray background when you click it. This indicates that it is a field, not regular text. It will not print in gray.
  4. If you want to see the field code riding behind this feature, press Alt+F9 and Alt+F9 again to show the date again.

That's it!

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