How to Insert the Current Month and Year in a Word Document That Automatically Updates

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You can easily add the current date and time to your Word documents, but what if you only want to add the month or month and year, but no date? It’s easy to manually add a custom date field and we’ll show you how.

Adding a date field to your Word document using the Field command on the Insert tab adds the complete date, without an option to only add the month or year. However, you can manually create a date field with only the items you want in different formats. We’ll show you how to insert the month and year using a field code and how to change the format of the month and year using switches.

In our example, we’re creating a title page for our monthly TPS Report and want to include the current month and year. We can create this as a template that we can use each month to quickly create the cover page, or we can just use the same document each month and update the date field.

To add a custom date field to your document, press Ctrl+F9 to insert braces to contain the field. You must use Ctrl+F9 to insert the braces and NOT just type the braces using the keyboard.

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We’re going to add the month and year for our example, so type the following inside the braces.

date \@ "MMMM YYYY"

The MMMM and YYYY are switches that tell Word what format to use for the month and year.

Click “Update”, or press F9 (with the cursor inside the field code or the field code selected), to update the field and display the month and year.

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The field code above inserts the full month and year. However, you can format the month and year differently by changing the switches. Here is a list of the switches you can use for the month and year and what they produce:

  • M: Displays the month as a number without a leading zero (0) for single-digit months. For example, August is “8”.
  • MM: Displays the month as a number with a leading zero (0) for single-digit months. For example, August is “08”.
  • MMM: Displays the month as a three-letter abbreviation. For example, August is “Aug”.
  • MMMM: Displays the full name of the month, e.g., “August”.
  • YY: Displays the year as two digits with a leading zero (0) for years 01 through 09. For example, 2016 is displayed as “16”, and 2009 is displayed as “09”.
  • YYYY: Displays the year as four digits, e.g., 2016.

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To make changes to the field code, right-click in the field and select “Toggle Field Codes” from the popup menu.

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You can also insert the month and date separately. This is useful if you want to use them in different places. For example, to insert just the current month, enter date \@MMMM in the braces (as shown below). Or, to insert just the current year, enter date \@YYYY . Note that when using only one switch (MMMM or YYYY), you don’t need quotes around the switch.

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You can also type the date field code, such as date @\ “MMMM YYYY” , and then select the text and press Ctrl+F9 to add the braces around the text and convert it to a field code.

To update all the fields in a document, press Ctrl+A to select the entire document (except for textboxes, headers, footers, footnotes, and endnotes). Then, press F9 to update the fields. To update fields in textboxes, headers, footers, footnotes, and endnotes, you must go into those parts of the document separately, select the fields, and then press F9 to update them.

Lori Kaufman is a writer who likes to write geeky how-to articles to help make people's lives easier through the use of technology. She loves watching and reading mysteries and is an avid Doctor Who fan.