Date format to past dates in history?

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Date format to past dates in history?

Postby ripriprip » Fri Feb 08, 2019 7:33 am

Issue is I deal with a lot of historic documents. with dates on the pages (not in a table or cell, or in Calc).
These documents all have different formats when I finally get them. I would like to change the dates from (some examples: 02-02-79 02-Feb-1879).

I'd like to be able to highlight a document with these various date formats, and change them all to one format. The format I'm looking for is 02 Feb 1879.

I did try to edit the date field however that just inserted 'todays date' into the date field that I was trying to format. Or it changed it to 02 Feb 1979 ? However, my document deals with the 1800s.

I thought I'd try to trick it into adding a previous year to the field by creating a new date field rule: DD MMM 18YY - but that didn't work.. (of course).
I work with documents that have dates from various years.. the 1500 all the way to 2019. How could I get all the dates in a selected area to be able to be changed at one time, where OO would recognize the string of numbers as a date filed, then allow me to edit them all at once with the corresponding day and month.. and my year of choice. Sorry, this probably sounds confusing... any help appreciated.

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Re: Date format to past dates in history?

Postby Zizi64 » Fri Feb 08, 2019 8:44 am

I think it, you can not insert dates before 1900 as Fields into a Writer document.

Use pure text for this task.

The Calc can handle the dates "properly" back to "October, 1582" (it depended on the locale: when was introduce the Gregorian calendar in a specific country. The Calc not contain a database about the introduction of the Gregorian calendar in the countries/states)
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Re: Date format to past dates in history?

Postby keme » Fri Feb 08, 2019 9:28 am

If your documents originate from the USA, you are of course aware that the prevailing date format has changed through the period you are looking at, and it is also context dependent (military date format does not always follow the rest of the community). This makes it extremely difficult to make an automated "date interpreter" to reliably translate all the dates to a standardized format. It is doable as long as all the months are entered with name, not number. With numbers-only dates, you need context for a reliable interpretation (perhaps the day name is given, or the date belongs to an ordered sequence). If the dates appear in running text (i.e. unstructured), there is also the challenge of identifying a text section as a date.

While I say "it's doable" in some situations, that doesn't mean that I'd suggest actually doing it. Even without the added complexity of US date formats, creating and testing an automated solution to cater for all possible date formats (interpreting them reliably) may be more work than changing your documents manually.
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