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MSWord97 date fields

Discussion in 'Computer Related Help & Discussion' started by Malcolm_Stewart, Jul 15, 2021.

  1. Malcolm_Stewart

    Malcolm_Stewart Well-Known Member

    I bought the full set of MSOffice97 applications (Word, Access, Excel and Powerpoint) back in 1997, and as I retired a short time later, have never updated them - they only get used for my domestic needs. For many years, my basic letter writing template has worked fine, with its calendar date field automatically setting the system date after starting a new letter. And, that originating date was locked into the saved document, which is what I wanted, and sensible.
    I've now noticed that if I open recent letters, the date field is updated on opening to the current system date, and should I "Save" the document, it is re-saved with the current system date - not what I want. So, something has changed, and I'm wondering what, and whether I can go back to how things were. I've certainly not updated my very old copy of Word97, but am wondering if updates to Windows (Win10) may have had some rogue effect.

    I suppose I could try re-installing Word97 from the original discs. Any suggestions welcomed. (My browser is Firefox.)
    (Fortunately, I've been saving letters with the originating date as part of the filename, and that's now more important than I ever intended it to be!)

    Many thanks
  2. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    Most odd. I always added the date manually. I’d have thought that, if the macro interrogated and displayed the system date it would always have done so. Not saving (discard changes) might fix it* but of course you’d never know if it updates on display. You could try opening a letter in another application, like LibreOffice, but that probably honours the macro too.

    All of these things use Windows library calls. To dig you’d have to find out the name of the call and work back through what reference material you can find, it’s usually** part of the visual basic win32 programming reference. It won’t be easy but old stuff is usually preserved, they tend to add functionality rather than remove it. I think it unlikely that an object library command now does something different. More likely it is flagged obsolete (usage deprecated) or has new, additional, options.

    *assuming the document field holds historical values.

    **I haven’t done any win32 ole coding for years. I used to read and write to excel files while doing data analysis.
  3. Andrew Flannigan

    Andrew Flannigan Well-Known Member

    Your best bet is to disable all macros before opening a document. On the other hand, I can't recall if 97 just ignores existing values when saving with macros disabled, so you'd have to try that with a copy file and see what happens.
  4. GeoffR

    GeoffR Well-Known Member

    It is a long time since I used Office 97, probably around 18 years, I recall that later versions inserted the current date whenever a document was opened so I quickly dispenses with using that particular facility and inserted dates manually. I don't recall how Office 97 inserted the date, the version I am currently using has a check box for "update automatically" which suggests that Microsoft have realised that it isn't every user who wants the date changed when they open an historic document.

    The computer in the garage may have a copy of Office 97 so I'll look and see. Unfortunately that is Office 2003 and it too has the tick box for "update automatically". Clearly my recollection, above, was wrong.
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2021

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