Date Magic in Microsoft Outlook

How to enter dates in Outlook? Here is Date Magic for you. An unexpected and intelligent feature waiting for you to notice it for 20 years! How about adding dates by typing 3d, 4w, 15may+12 d …


Entering Dates made easy

We usually struggle to enter dates for meetings or task due dates. If you know the date, we type it. Otherwise, we choose it from the Date dropdown.

There is a third way which is almost magical. We can type dates and times just the way we speak to each other – using native language (in this case English).

Date Magic Examples

Type text and press Tab to translate it into actual date (or time). Today’s date is 4th October 2016.

Date Magic demo

Is this not magical? Microsoft made a list of various ways we communicate dates, times and durations to each other. Then they created the date text box which can understand and convert these natural language inputs to actual date and time.

This works anywhere in Outlook where a date has to be entered.

What does it understand?

The system is very smart. It understands all the days or months spelt – even abbreviations like Jan or Wed will work. Upper or lower case does not matter.

It also understands time shown as noon, midnight, 7 pm and so on.

Specific time/date related words like today, now, next, previous, first and last are also understood.

For durations, it accepts a number followed with a character: 5d, 3w, 2y, 5mo (m is minutes).

Even formulas will work.

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Using Holidays

American holidays work perfectly. So if you type  Christmas+ 3d, it will convert to 28th Dec. However, holidays added for other countries do not work. I have tried it only for India.

Start using this right away

It is a simple but very useful feature. FYI, it has been there for 20 years!
Never mind. Now you are the magician Smile

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