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Is there a way to insert today’s date into a Google Docs?

Solutons:


It’s possible to insert todays date through a macro.

Open your Google Document and under Tools select Script editor. This opens Google’s script editor where it’s possible to create macros for Google Documents.

Paste this script and save it as Date Macro or something:

/**
 * The onOpen function runs automatically when the Google Docs document is
 * opened. Use it to add custom menus to Google Docs that allow the user to run
 * custom scripts. For more information, please consult the following two
 * resources.
 *
 * Extending Google Docs developer guide:
 *     https://developers.google.com/apps-script/guides/docs
 *
 * Document service reference documentation:
 *     https://developers.google.com/apps-script/reference/document/
 */
function onOpen() {
  // Add a menu with some items, some separators, and a sub-menu.
  DocumentApp.getUi().createMenu('Utilities')
      .addItem('Insert Date', 'insertAtCursor')
      .addToUi();
}
 
/**
 * Inserts the date at the current cursor location in boldface.
 */
function insertAtCursor() {
  var cursor = DocumentApp.getActiveDocument().getCursor();
 
  if (cursor) {
    // Attempt to insert text at the cursor position. If insertion returns null,
    // then the cursor's containing element doesn't allow text insertions.
    var date = (new Date).toLocaleDateString('default', { day: 'numeric', month: 'long', year: 'numeric'}); // use your local (browser) date format with month name
    var element = cursor.insertText(date);
    if (element) {
      element.setBold(true);
    } else {
      DocumentApp.getUi().alert('Cannot insert text at this cursor location.');
    }
  } else {
    DocumentApp.getUi().alert('Cannot find a cursor in the document.');
  }
}

Now refresh or reopen your document and a new menu item appears: Utilities. Under this menu an item appears called Insert Date. Click that to insert todays date at your cursor position.

To change the format of the date you need to change the “format” used in the script. The format can contain the following characters: yyyy-MM-dd'T'HH:mm:ss'Z'

To clarify, this script merely inserts today’s date at the cursor location for the day you execute the utility. That’s not precisely the same as the =today() function in Google Sheets, which updates the date to the current date whenever you open the spreadsheet. However, this script will save you the trouble of looking up the date and typing it on the day that you execute the script.

Forget macros. Just link to a cell in Google Sheets!

  1. Go to Google Sheets.
  2. Create a new Google Sheets spreadsheet and name it something like “Today.”
  3. In a cell in that spreadsheet, type the following: =TODAY()
  4. Select that cell along with an adjoining cell (which makes it a Table and not just text). Copy the selected cells (using “Edit” –> “Copy” or a keyboard shortcut).
  5. Open a Google Doc or a Google Slideshow and paste the table wherever you’d like for the current day’s date to appear.

Voila!

  1. Go to Google Sheets and create a new spreadsheet file with a suggestive name such as e.g. Dataset.
  2. Rename the Sheet1 sheet to a more suggestive name such as e.g. Date.
  3. At the cell A1, type =TODAY() and hit Enter, then (with cell A1 still selected) go to Format => Number and select Date, or select More Formats => Custom number format, customize it as you wish (e.g. mmmm dd, yyyy.) and click Apply. Don’t forget to change the font type so it matches the font type used in your Google Docs document. E.g. if your document uses the Arial font, then make sure that A1 cell is formatted to use the Arial font, too.
  4. Still with cell A1 selected, select Insert => Chart. By default, a Column chart will be created. Double-click it and, at the Chart editor panel (right side of the screen), go to Setup and change the Chart type to Scorecard chart. Your chart will then become a date field.
  5. Return to your Google Docs document, select the place in the text where you wish to insert such date field, then select Insert => Chart => From Sheets, pick your spreadsheet file at the Files field and click Select, then click onto the Scorecard chart that will show up and hit Import.
  6. Use your (mouse, touchpad, clickpad…) pointer to click and drag one of the chart’s (lower-left, upper-left, lower-right or upper-right) corners in order to resize the chart proportionally until its font size matches that of your text.
  7. Double click the chart, then drag the lower side of the rectangle downwards about twice the height of the text (hold the left Alt keyboard key as you do it, so this task is performed in “precise mode”). Click outside of the chart in order to exit the “chart editting mode”.
  8. The text of the date chart will still be vertically not aligned with the text of the document. Double click the chart again, then drag the lower side of the rectangle upwards while holding the left Alt keyboard key. Do it until your date text is aligned with the document text.

Footnotes

  • If your date chart doesn’t update automatically, press F5 in order to update/refresh your document, then select the date chart and click on the UPDATE button.

  • If the font size of your date chart doesn’t match the font size of the text and resizing the chart in the document doesn’t work, return to the sheet and change the size of the font there: double click the chart in Google Sheets, then at the Chart editor select Customize, then select Key Value and modify Font size.

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