7 Replies Latest reply on Aug 7, 2015 2:38 PM by Sandee Cohen

    Insert auto date


      Hi,  We use InDesign for gift acknowledgment letters.  We create the template then re-use the document weekly.  We would like to have the date automatically update to the current date.  We have tried each of the text variables but none of them work - all they have is a modification date (last time the document was modified), an output date (last time the document was printed), and creation date (when the document was created).  Does anyone know of a way to insert a date that will auto update to the current day?  Thank you!

        • 1. Re: Insert auto date
          Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

          I hope someone else has a better idea, but you could create an excel spreadsheet with a cell containing the function =TODAY(), then place that cell after setting the prefs to link to text and spreadsheet files. I suspect you'd have to open and save the sheet each day to update the date, but then the ID file should ask to update the link.

          • 2. Re: Insert auto date
            FergyMac Level 3

            Screen Shot 2015-08-07 at 4.10.00 PM.png

            Using this text variable it updates when I print the file. Does this not work for you?

            • 3. Re: Insert auto date
              JanetS196465 Level 1

              What version of InDesign are you using?  We are using CC 6 and CC 2015 and the screen shot below is the text variables we have.  Current Date is not one of them.Screen Shot 2015-08-07 at 3.18.41 PM.png

              • 4. Re: Insert auto date
                FergyMac Level 3

                Currently on CC2014 but I've used this variable for several years. Check the Define section. I seem to recall that I had to create the variable for Current Date.

                • 5. Re: Insert auto date
                  JanetS196465 Level 1

                  It doesn't allow it.  In the define section you can define a new variable but it has to be based on one of the coded ones.  So you can create a new Modification Date variable, Creation Date variable, or Output Date variable.  It changes the format but not what it does.  It doesn't allow you to create a new type of variable just a new format of an existing one.

                  • 6. Re: Insert auto date
                    FergyMac Level 3

                    Create a new variable based on Output Date or just use Output Date as your variable. When you insert it in your InDesign file it will have a place-holder date but when you print the file (or create a PDF) the date will change to the current date.

                    • 7. Re: Insert auto date
                      Sandee Cohen Adobe Community Professional

                      OK, here is the step-by-step instructions that should work all the way back to CS6 (longer if I remember correctly).


                      First, you could use one of the pre-defined variables, but I want you to experience this from bottom to top.


                      Go to Type > Text Variables > Define. This opens the Text Variables dialog box.


                      TV db.png


                      Click New. This opens the New Text Variable dialog box.


                      new tv db.png


                      Name the Variable something like "The current date for printing."

                      Choose Output Date

                      Defining variable 1.png


                      You now need to format how the date is inserted. For this exercise we're going to choose Time > Hour, then insert a colon, then Time > Seconds, then Month (Name), then day (number), then year (number). Inserting the time and minutes will help us see how the variable updates. (Much better than waiting for the next day.)


                      elements of date copy.png


                      As you enter the codes, you'll see a preview of the result in the Preview field. Now, the Preview may not show the "current" time. Don't worry.


                      output variable w preview.png


                      Now click OK to close everything up. The text variable you created with be in Text > Text Variables > Insert Variable >


                      Finished variable.png


                      When you insert the text variable, it will appear in the text with its preview.


                      preview is wrong.png


                      But here's where it's going to confused you. This preview shows the last time the document was printed or output as PDF or when the document was first created if it was never output. That's the LAST time. InDesign can't tell the future, so it doesn't know what time or date it will be when you eventually output the file.


                      So, try an experiment. In my case, I'm going to create a PDF. Even though the text variable SAYS 5:21, the clock on my machine says 5:36. So let's see what the PDF shows.


                      PDF is right.png


                      That's how you can get the "Current Date" to be inserted when you print the file. The preview changes at the time of printing.