How to…Display dates (and a macro to transpose them)

My latest project is a 20,000-word diary about a cat and his cat friends. From what I’ve seen of it so far, it is an amusing and adventurous tale, with some lovely illustrations, but it is not a story aimed at children. It has strictly adult content!

Being a diary, it has daily dates. The British-English standard style convention is to display dates in the order day, month, and year; using cardinal numbers (1, 2, 3, 4…), not ordinal numbers (1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th…), with no punctuation. Today’s date would be written as 29 June 2018. (In the US style, the order is month, day, year, with a comma after the day.)

A given day preceding the date is separated by a comma: Friday, 29 June 2018.
If being used in a sentence then a second comma is required:
On Friday, 29 June 2018, the sun rose at 4.53 a.m.

A writer would not necessarily be expected to know this, and so dates are presented to me in a variety of ways: with or without ordinal numbers, with or without commas, and in the wrong order.

Before I print a client’s typescript for editing, I always reformat the original version, using my own style, and save it as a new document. I carry out some basic formatting on headings and body text. This is usually a straightforward process, but numerous dates as headings can become somewhat tedious to correct. ‘There must be an easier way!’ I muttered, after spending many minutes cutting and pasting dates from the style Saturday November 3rd to Saturday 3 November.

Now, I’m not a whizz at programming, so creating macros (Word, or otherwise) is not something I actively engage in. I tend to google them, copy and paste them into my document, hope they work, and get frustrated if they don’t. Yesterday, I came across a macro that transposes two words. You simply place the cursor between the two words to be transposed and run the macro. Just what I wanted.

If anyone is interested in the macro, you can find it here, thanks to Allen Wyatt: https://word.tips.net/T000002_Transposing_Two_Words.html

If anyone wants to know how to add a macro to a Word document, you can find it here: https://support.office.com/en-us/article/create-or-run-a-macro-c6b99036-905c-49a6-818a-dfb98b7c3c9c

Now all I need to do now is find a way to get Word to transpose all of the date headings in one fell swoop! Any suggestions will be gratefully received.

🙂