Choose A Date Format For Word

BY STANLEY ZAROWIN

Key to Instructions
To help readers follow the instructions in this article, we used two different typefaces:
Boldface type is used to identify the names of icons, agendas and URLs.
Sans serif type indicates the names of files and the names of commands and instructions users should type into the computer.
 

Q. How do I get AutoComplete to automatically type out the “long” date (July 4, 2004) instead of the “short” date (7/4/2004)?

A. Before getting into how to set the default for the date format, let’s take a moment to describe AutoComplete . It’s a handy function that recognizes when you’re typing a date and completes the task for you—writing it in the format of your choosing.

To initiate AutoComplete , click on Insert on the toolbar, on AutoText and then on the AutoText tab and place a check in the box next to Show AutoComplete suggestions and click on OK .

Now you’re ready to see how AutoComplete completes a date that you begin to type. Start to type March in your Word document. After you type a few letters, Word will surmise you’re about to type a date and the following will appear on the screen:

If you follow the pop-up instructions and press Enter, Word will insert the current date. If, on the other hand, you were actually going to type, March into the fray , just keep typing and ignore the pop-up date suggestion.

Now, to answer your question: How to format the date? The date format is controlled by a setting in your Control Panel . To access it, click on the Start button (lower-left corner of the screen), Control Panel and then on Regional and Language Options . That will bring up this screen, which displays your current format settings for numbers, currency, time and date:

If you wish to change any of the settings, click on Customize , and that brings up this screen:

Notice now you can adjust the default format for numbers, currency, time and date by clicking on the appropriate tab. If you want to change any of them, click on the subject you want to change and then click on Customize again. Use the upside-down arrow to make your choice.

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