Insert the Current Date in Word Documents Using Fields
Article by: Avantix Learning Team | Updated November 8, 2021
Applies to: Microsoft® Word® 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019 or 365 (Windows)
You can insert today's date into a Word document as a static date or as a dynamic date field that updates when a document is opened or printed. Word picks up the current date from the system date and the default formatting from your computer's regional settings.
If you insert the Date field (or several other date fields), when you close, save and open the document, the date will be updated. If you want to manually update a date field, right-click it and choose Update Field from the drop-down menu.
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Inserting the current date using the Date & Time command
The most common way to insert the current date as a field in a Word document is to use the Date & Time command in the Ribbon. Date fields are entered in content controls in Word.
To insert the current date as a field using the Date & Time command:
- Click in the document where you want to insert the date:
- Click the Insert tab in the Ribbon.
- Select Date & Time in the Text group. The Date and Time dialog box appears.
- Click the date in the format that you want.
- Select the Update automatically check box to insert a dynamic date field.
- Click OK. Word will insert the Date field in a content control.
The Date and Time dialog box appears as follows:
Inserting the current date using a keyboard shortcut
To insert the current date using a keyboard shorcut, press Alt + Shift + D to insert the Date field in a content control. This will insert the Date field which will update automatically. This is not a shortcut for the Date / Time dialog box and is not affected by settings in the dialog box.
Inserting other date fields
You can also insert the Date, CreateDate, PrintDate and SaveDate fields into Word documents. The PrintDate field will update when the document is printed.
To insert the PrintDate field or one of the other date fields:
- Position the cursor where you want to insert the date.
- Click the Insert tab in the Ribbon.
- In the Text group, click Quick Parts. A drop-down menu appears.
- Select Field. A dialog box appears.
- Select Date and Time from the Categories drop-down list. Select PrintDate or one of the other date fields in the Field Names list.
- Under Field Properties, choose a date format.
- Click OK. The date field will be entered in a content control.
The Insert Field dialog box appears as follows with Date and Time fields:
If you want to update a date field (if it doesn't appear to update), right-click the field and select Update Field from the drop-down menu.
Changing the formatting of a date field
If you have inserted date fields, you can also change the formatting of the field:
- Right-click the field. A drop-down menu appears.
- Select Edit Field. A dialog box appears.
- Under Field Properties, select a date format.
- Click OK.
Fields can be inserted in the main document or in headers and footers.
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