Have you ever tried to tell which version of a printed document was the most recent? If you use the date field in the document header or footer, what you get is the printed date; not the date of the last update. So I can print a document that was last updated in 2004, but the date in the header or footer will show today’s date.

In the example shown in Figure 1, the last time I made a change to the “Copying a spreadsheet without truncating cells” document was 10/7/2004.

Figure 1

But this morning when I inserted a header and chose the “Author, Page#, Date” AutoText, the date shown (Figure 2) is today’s date. That’s fine, if the most important date is when the document was printed. But in this case, I want people to know the last time I updated these instructions. So, I can replace the date that is supplied by the AutoText with the date I last saved the file, which equates to the last time I made any changes to the document.

Figure 2

To do so, I replace the date in the header with the SaveDate field. Figure 3 shows how:

Figure 3

1. Place your cursor where you want the last saved date to appear in your Microsoft Office Word document. In this case, I’m putting it in the header. But you can put it anywhere in the document you like.
2. On the Insert menu, click Field.
3. Scroll down to SaveDate, and click on it.
4. Click OK.

Figure 4

The header (Figure 4) will now show the date of the last time the file was saved. If you update your document in the future, you can update the SaveDate field by clicking on it, and pressing F9.

You can use the SaveDate field anywhere in your document. So this tip might be handy in any situation where you’d like to be able to tell the last time a document was changed, for example if you’re writing a draft report, sales report, or other documents where it could be important to know the last time the document was updated.

---Robbin Young