I am currently putting together a template document in Pages and would like the date to update each time it is opened.

However, I would also like to display the date as an ordinal number (for example, today would be 11th September 2012) which isn't in the list of available formats.

Does anybody know of a way to set the date to auto-update in this format or do I have to manually set it each time?


4 Answers 4


In the current version of Pages your only option is to insert a table, then use spreadsheet formats to insert a day.

Create a table with a single cell, enter =today() in the cell, then use the formatting panel to choose a date format, remove table/cell borders and so on.

If you're not happy with the formatting options available, see Forumas & Functions Help in Numbers to find additional options.

  • Consider specifying Pages version 2 rather than “the current version”. The OP failed to do this as well, but adding details really helps a year or more down the road. Most importantly, +1 and thanks for the answer!
    – bmike
    Jul 21, 2018 at 10:49

You can set the date to update every time the document is opened by double-clicking on it, and selecting “Automatically update on open”. As for making the date ordinal, I don’t think it’s possible or would require heavy plist modifications or may depend on your localisation settings.

  • Thank you. I had the updating part figured out but all of the formats seem kind of awkward for British English Sep 11, 2012 at 15:12
  • Is your language and region (British English and United Kingdom) set in System Preferences > Language and Text as well as the document properties?
    – duci9y
    Sep 11, 2012 at 15:17
  • Yes they are. I've also just been experimenting with the system date format and haven't found any way to add an ordinal suffix there. I'm surprised, it's something I thought would've come up. Sep 11, 2012 at 15:34
  • 2
    The auto-updating features seems to have been removed. Using version 5.2.2 here.
    – George C
    May 24, 2016 at 18:46
  • 1
    Workaround using Numbers and pasting into Pages. Self-updating textfield in Pages 6.2
    – bjbk
    Aug 19, 2017 at 17:11

I want to boost @bjbk's response, since this question is the first web search result.

The "Automatically update on open" feature was removed from Apple Pages at some point, and the workaround is to follow @bjbk's advice in this question.

Confirmed on Pages 11.1.


I found another way. Open the Basic Letter template. It will have the current date. Highlight the date, copy, and paste in the document where you want the date. After doing this click on the date and a box will pop up with ways to format (date, hour, second). Click CURRENT DATE to set the current date/etc. When you reopen document you will need to click the box again and click CURRENT DATE. This will update the date/etc.

bjbk’s answer works very well. I used =today.

  • 1
    The question asks about automatic updating, without human intervention. Not sure your method could be called automatic.
    – nohillside
    Jul 23, 2023 at 5:55
  • I don’t know of a way to automatically update. I offered a possible soluion that requires about 10 seconds to do and is very easy if you cannot find a way to automatically update. If you find a way to automatically update I would appreciate knowing…
    – Lou
    Jul 24, 2023 at 15:52

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