Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions
Word 2016 date property definitions show incorrect date
Posted by Rami Aalto (M-Files) on 04 July 2018 09:30 AM

EDIT: The "November 2018" release of both M-Files 2018 and M-Files Online will feature a workaround for this issue and this bug should no longer be an issue. Download the updates here: https://www.m-files.com/update-mfiles 

When using Microsoft Word 2016 with M-Files, you might run into a strange issue when using date properties in a Word document.

What happens?

When using a date property in a Word document, the date is displayed incorrectly. It looks like the date shown in Word is the previous day of what it is supposed to be. However, this does not apply to all dates, some dates are displayed correctly. And a date that shows correctly now, might not show correctly when the same document is opened on another day. Confusing, indeed.

Why does this happen?

This behavior is due to a known bug in Microsoft Word 2016 and it is related to using Daylight Savings Time (DST). When selecting a custom date property from the M-Files Word add-in to be added to the Word document, the date is shown correctly in preview, but inserting the property causes the error. This is because the date is calculated as "midnight on the selected day" and after one hour is subtracted from it, the date results in "11pm on the previous day", causing the wrong date. But this only applies to dates that are on non-DST i.e. "winter time".

The date stored in a custom variable is subtracted by one hour, if these preconditions are met:

  • Word 2016 is used
  • The computer has DST enabled
  • The computer time is on DST time zone ("summer time")
  • The date in the date property is on a non-DST time zone ("winter time")

Can I work around this issue?

Not really. You can turn off the DST setting on your computer, but then your computer's clock will show time incorrectly and can cause a lot of other troubles. You could also use another Word version than 2016, but it is not always an option.

When will this issue be fixed?

Unknown, as the fix must come from Microsoft. There is a discussion about the issue going on at the Microsoft's forums:

http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/office/forum/office_2016-word/word-2016-date-in-property-field-is-decreased-by/743eda04-97e3-4500-a57e-c07460a21abc?tm=1461232927845

In one reply, that has been submitted by forum user "Andrew-Hudson" on October 24, 2016, the user lists steps on how the problem can be reproduced with Word, without M-Files.

There is also the question posted on Office IT Pro forums (https://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/office/en-US/715d5821-be64-4e41-8571-912a416ec95d/word-2016-date-in-property-field-is-decreased-by-one-day?forum=officeitpro) that is unanswered at the time of writing.

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