Automatic time date stamp at beginning of each line

First, let me say thank you for maintaining such a vast amount of information on the forum.

I’m using Version:
Build ID: 420m0(Build:2)

on xubuntu latest updates

I maintain documentation that requires a time date stamp at the beginning of each line in the document. Not unlike line numbering.

At minimum I need the time date stamp at the beginning of each paragraph.

Any suggestions on how I can accomplish this?

06/06/15 14:22:17 - is the format I would like to see in the log

Thank you

For my purposes this is solved, thanks all for your responses.


I guess the timestamp must not be changed after insertion. You could use the Date (fixed) field in the format of your choice: Insert Fields More Fields Document tab Type: Date, Select: Date (fixed), Format: Additional formats to select your format.

Of course it would not be practical to have to redo it all every time. So you can use the AutoText feature to automatically insert .

Principle: Insert the field in your document

  1. For example, followed by a tab or
  2. In cell A1 of a table 1 row & 2 columns

Select, Edit AutoText to create and give it a shortcut. Then simply type your shortcut to insert either paragraph (1) or table (2) as in this screenshot:

The AutoText function is described in this Guide


I’m giving it a try, thank you for taking time to respond. I’ll follow up wiht my results

This is great, I learned a lot about autotext and will find it useful, however, the result for my task is not different than what I’m currently doing (a macro to insert the fileds). I need it to be truly automatic for every new line. this log is very fast paced and sometimes gets as many as 10 entries per minute, so to press key combinations, etc. won’t work for my solution. Your answer is helpful though, and I’m thankful for your time

For uncritical use you may also consider to automatically create timestamps by formulae. I gave this method the cute short name “Conditionally Suspended Circular Referencing”. See attached example, please.



Editing 2016-04-11 (with respect to the comment by @CCGirl ):

love the name :slight_smile: If I could figure out a way to use a formula and the now() function in Writer, this would be great. I appreciate your time in responding

Sorry! I actually didn’t read the badges except the one missing. Shame upon me!

(I surely would use Calc for the purpose … It sounds a bit technical … Why Writer?)

No worries, I’m new to the forum and may have not included the right tags, etc. We use Writer for a couple reasons: the file is exported daily to a msword file and pdf, and we use a lot of images that we like to keep nicely formatted

Just a quick thank you for pursuading me to use Calc… I’m finding I like the ease of format the cells, the enhanced ability to cross-sheet calculate (e.g. time studies, project times, etc.) and the image formatting is not an issue either. I’m converting the logging to spreadsheet. Thanks again for your time Lupp.

I hope I did not too stubbornly persuade you - and you didn’t disregard my labelling “For Uncritical Use”. Why that? In short: The time stamps can not be retrieved if once lost. Other formulae, even most of the recursive ones, can reproduce their results based in one or another way on stored constants. Formulae like the one under discussion or any push-to-stack formulae can not. At least convert older time stamps to constants when logging allows for a time-out.

Not at all, you’ve covered the bases well, thank you. My logging is not mission critical by any means, but the times are of some importance, so I’ll build redundancies in and take the steps needed to be certain the time stamps are preserved on a regular basis. I’m experimenting with auto exporting to csv, and there’s a new file every day so no major chunk of data can be lost. Thanks again, cheers

One (2?) more comment(s), however.

@pbutter Did you observe that the time stamps will often not be correctly created if they are not in the view? At least a formula referring the cell where a new time stamp is to be created should be contained inside the view. Otherwise the time stamp might be set in the moment when it is made showing - or it gets referenced. The method is really fragile! You don’t believe that? Try it in 2 ways:

  1. Externalise the time stamp formula to an extra sheet or hide the column. Continue “logging” more than one steps.and make the TS visible again. They are identical, aren’t they?

  2. Place the TS formulae in column A and scroll this column out of view. Then as above.

If you do so at the right end of the visible range you may get another result.

This is what I call “fragile”.

Yes, I’m noticing these issues. and I’m finding it is a challenge. for the moment I’m less confident that calc will be a reliable solution given my coding skills, or lack thereof :slight_smile: I’ve reverted to a simple bash script (e.g. le mytext, li myimagelink)… log entry, log image…$@ my text or link with a time stamp into a text file, then I use psutils, etc to form a nice pdf as needed… fragile indeed, but still fun to try it and experiment

I feel relieved then. I also feel encouraged to add another suggestion how to circumvent the “hiden-stamp-problem”. I will attach an additional example to my original answer.

@Lupp - Smart use of circular references, brilliant solution :slight_smile:

many thanks, Lupp

Hello Lup can you please say how did you make the first file? I want it for my own file. i tried to copy paste the formula into my own file but it gave error.

…can you please say how did you make the first file?
I simply entered the formula =IF(B11="";"";IF(A11="";NOW();A11)) into cell A11 and filled it down as far as I thought was appropriate (yellow range).
I will edit (as soon as I find the time) my answer above to explain to a bit more detail what I meant by “for uncritical use”, and for what reasons I tend more and more to discourage users to rely on this application of CSCR.