Again: Time and Date

Hi there,

would be very handy for me to have easier control over the time- and date-stamp. I know it’s possible to insert Date & Time via menu or short-cut, but most of the time I only need the date-stamp, so I have to manually delete the time. Or I need the time and have to delete the date.

Why not make it a clear thing in menu and in the program itself: Insert Date. Insert Time. Insert Date & Time. Then everyone could assign his own shortcuts.

I think it couldn’t be so difficult to implement. And it would be helpful in a lot of situations.

Thanks in advance and all the best,

You could probably use QuickSilver to do that (if you’re on Mac) – it’s free.

Alternatively, you might be able to use a snippet on ClipMenu (also free).

Cheers, Martin.

Maybe. But I think it could and should be easier. It’s surely not just me who regularly needs to use the current date or time. Making notes, giving it a date. Etc.pp.


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I prefer external solutions to this as well. For date stamps I use Typinator. That works everywhere on the Mac so I’m not memorising a dozen different shortcuts or menu-positions for each individual program. I think it is a better philosophy to provide, for common needs like this, a simple solution—but if one needs a complex solution like their own different datestamp format—to integrate with specialist applications that provide better resources for that. It’s how the Mac was designed to work, rather than having each individual program compounding and complexifying itself with every concievable thing one wants to do. With integration you can not only choose your own datestamp format, but have it add the current weather as well. You might not need that, but hopefully you get the point. It means you have more control over your Mac in general without increasing the complexity of each application you use.

I’m with AmberV on this one. Typinator provides lots of flexibility on time- and date-stamping, and you can set up your own shortcuts. My time-and-date shortcuts include:

2012.03.1 20:24
1 March 2012
1 March 2012 (Thursday)
Thursday, 1 March 2012, 8 pm

Typinator also lets you set up shortcuts that add additional boilerplate:

1 March 2012 (Thursday) — tasks

…and even formatted text.

Best of all, you don’t need to learn a different set of shortcuts for Scrivener, since these work anywhere on your Mac.

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Perhaps I ought not to mention it, as it’s been pretty well hidden away, kept for the private use of a few in-the-know acolytes, but an alternative and damn-near fool-proof system is readily and quickly available. It is this.

Take out your telephone. On the front you will find a series of symbols, which, with practice, you can learn to translate into time and date. These data can then be manually entered into Scr at the whichever position you choose.


:laughing: :laughing: [size=85]splutter!!![/size]

At least he restrained himself from using the phrase “technological imperative”. :slight_smile:

If you’re on a Mac, there’s a free utility that I use for all my time/date stamps. It’s called Xtype, and it’s free in the App store, or on their website:

You just type “ddate” or “ttime” and it will put the stamp in the format of your choice. Very easy to customize, and you can also create your own shortcodes for frequently used strings of text.

I struggled with this as well but was able to get it done via Apple Automator on the Mac after a bit of research:

  1. Create new Apple Automator Quick Action
  2. Select Run Apple Script
  3. Set Workflow receives “no input”
  4. Select “Output replaces selected text”
  5. Paste the following script:

get the ((current date) as «class isot» as string)
→ “2018-03-28T14:52:26”

  1. Run it in the Automator app to confirm it is working.
  2. Save Automator Quick Action as “Insert Current Date Time as ISO”
  3. In System “Settings > Keyboard > Keyboard Shortcuts” create a new app shortcut by clicking on the plus + sign and selecting the app “Automator”. Use the exact name of the Automator file “Insert Current Date Time as ISO” or whatever you called it.
  4. Give it a shortcut key of preference - mine is command-alt-d
  5. In Keyboard Shortcuts, go to the Services section and repeat the addition of the shortcut under the Text section.

Save all and test. Should give you this format: 2023-06-17T15:19:29.

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The «class isot» in AppleScript doesn’t just return the date in ISO format, it also includes the time in a format similar to 2023-07-21T14:30:00Z. This format is known as ISO 8601.

Here’s how you can modify the a PowerShell script for Windows to get the current date and time in ISO 8601 format:

# Get current date and time in ISO 8601 format
$current_datetime = Get-Date -Format "yyyy-MM-ddTHH:mm:ssZ"

# Get long date name
$long_date = Get-Date -Format "dddd, MMMM dd, yyyy"

# Get month name
$month_name = Get-Date -Format "MMMM"

# Combine all the date information
$date_info = "$current_datetime `r`n$long_date `r`n$month_name"

# Copy the date information to the clipboard
Set-Clipboard $date_info

This script will get the current date and time, format it in ISO 8601 format, and put it in your clipboard.

Friday, July 21, 2023