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Daft Google Docs Fail - Insert Date?

posted 13 Dec 2016, 04:12 by Andrew at Lycom   [ updated 13 Dec 2016, 04:15 ]
Generally I find Google Docs (part of the bizarrely rebranded G suite) fulfils 99% of my needs. But sometime there are stare-at-the-screen-and-work-out-where-something-is moments.  Like trying to insert the current date into a document (for a legal agreement, where I wanted to track drafts printed).  You can't do it in Google Docs! There is no default mechanism for doing this.

Luckily I found this post:

and this code seemed to do the trick:

——————-COPY BELOW THIS LINE—————————

function onOpen() {

// Add a menu with some items, some separators, and a sub-menu.


.addItem('Insert Date', 'insertAtCursor')




* 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 = Utilities.formatDate(new Date(), "GMT", "dd-MM-yyyy"); // "yyyy-MM-dd'T'HH:mm:ss'Z'"

var element = cursor.insertText(date);

if (element) {


} else {

DocumentApp.getUi().alert('Cannot insert text at this cursor location.');


} else {

DocumentApp.getUi().alert('Cannot find a cursor in the document.');



——————-COPY ABOVE THIS LINE—————————

Now, why would you not include a Date() function as standard? Think on ...