Automatically Insert the Date and Time

Mike writes:

How can I set my MacBook to insert today's date, short version or long version, into whatever I'm keyboarding in??? QuicKeys is too expensive for Mac OS X and this Mac should do that!

The best way to do this is using an application called WordService. You can download it for free from the Devon Technologies site.

To install it, create a new folder in your Library folder called "Services" and drag the the WordService.service file into it. Log out then back in again to enable the service.

WordService is now accessible form the Services menu. This is under the Application menu in the top left, next to the Apple menu. You will probably have a lot of things in this menu, even if you have never installed any services before. This is because many applications will add things in that they think are useful. The new entries that WordService has added are Insert, Format and Convert. Each of these has a submenu with multiple options. The full features are outlined at the bottom of this page.

To insert the current date or time, you want to look at the options in the Insert submenu. There are different options for inserting the short date, long date, time and combinations of these. Each one has a keyboard shortcut to speed things up.

Word Service Insert Menu

Inserting the date and time is just one thing WordService is capable of. One of the more fun features is the Rotate13 option in the Convert menu. This allows you to "encode" the selected text with a simple substitution cypher. You can also speed up many repetitive tasks like removing double spaces and setting all caps or lowercase.

WordService works in all Cocoa applications (TextEdit, Mail, Safari etc.) and many Carbon Applications. As a result, you can use it almost everywhere. One notable place where it doesn't work is in Microsoft Word. Luckily, all of the Microsoft Office applications have their own way to insert the date and time. You'll find it under the Insert menu.

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