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Header image | Placeholders: Current Date and Time

The preamble to Headers and Footers section in the List of All Placeholders (available via the Help menu) explains that only a limited number of placeholders are supported within headers/footers …

Preamble: Headers and Footers

… and that’s only the placeholders listed in these sections of the Compile group.

  • Page Numbers – which we covered in the third post in this series.
  • Current Date and Time
  • User and Project Information – which we covered in the fourth post in this series.

In this blog, we focus on the remaining one of these three: Current Date and Time.

Note though that the Current Date and Time tag words – as useful as this data could be in a header/footer – might also be included elsewhere in your manuscript. For example, you might include the date somewhere in your Front Matter.

Current Date and Time tag words

At first sight, there are a lot of tag words to choose from.

Current Date & Time

Closer inspection reveals only a few simple choices are needed.

  • First, notice that most of the explanations refer to the user’s System Preferences.
  • Then, notice the use of terms: short, medium, long, full.

Systems Preferences

To access your Systems Preferences (on a Mac), go to the top left hand corner of your screen and click on the apple icon.

Accessing Systems Preferences | Placeholders: Current Date and Time

Clicking on Systems Preferences opens a window.

System Pref window | Placeholders: Current Date and Time

I can also access this window via an icon at the bottom of my screen.

Alternative route | Placeholders: Current Date and Time

Whichever route you take, the icon which allows you to set your options for date and time is called (surprise, surprise!) Date & Time.

Date & time icon

My screen grab of the next window shows how late I work!

Date & Time window

The important setting though is your time zone.

Setting time zone

Although I live in the southwest corner of England, the closest city is London and I am (as I write this post) on British Summer Time. Your setting will most probably be something different …

Going back to the previous window, notice the Open Language & Region button. This takes you to the settings pane.

Language & Region

Within this pane, there’s also an Apps pane.

Adding App specific settings

Clicking on the + sign gives you the option to change the settings for a specific App.

Adding settings for Scrivener

And then … the Advanced button takes you to where you can change the settings for Dates …

Date options | Placeholders: Current Date and Time


… and Times!

Time options | Placeholders: Current Date and Time

Short, Medium, Long, etc

In summary, this is the effect of using each of these tag words. I created a document in Scrivener and set up all the placeholders to show how the tag words would appear when compiled – according to my own settings in Systems Preferences.

All the Date & Time options

How did I create that first column? Tag words that didn’t compile as tag words?

Use of backslash

As per the instructions, I placed a backslash before the tag word.

Why backslash is used

Clever, eh?

But, back to Date & Time: you can decide your own settings … using the route explained above. Enjoy!

Questions about Scrivener?

Need a helping hand using tag words? Want a demo? Book your own Simply Scrivener Special session with me, at a time to suit you.

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