Tuesday, January 24, 2017

AX Date Shortcuts - More Interesting Than You Think!

My last post, AX Is Better at Math Than I Am, sparked some interesting conversations on social media and in person. Most of it ended up being about the hidden games in AX, but one reader mentioned the date shortcuts as something that people really like to use. I thought that was worthy of a short post, so here goes!

Quick Date Formatting - AX is Still Pretty Smart

Anywhere you can put a date in AX, you can enter it many ways. AX is pretty smart and will try to figure out what your entry means. For example, today's date is January 24, 2017. I have found that I can enter it as any of the following and AX will give me 1/24/2017 in my field:
  • 01/24/2017
  • 1/24/2017
  • 01/24/17
  • 1/24/17
  • 01242017
  • 012417
  • 0124
  • 24 (works only for the current month, AX doesn't do Julian dates. This will work in every month!)

Word of caution: if I enter 124, AX will populate 12/4/2017 into the field.

Other Date Shortcuts and Need to Know Information

Now, let's say that I enter something invalid like the Julian date for December 23, number 357. I will get this message from AX:

Error during entry screenshot says Enter the date as MM/DD/YYYY or for quick entry T for machine date D for system date
I love it when AX throws me little hints from time to time!

What is this trickery? I can enter the letter T and it will give me today's date as it is stated on my PC or the letter D for the system date in my field. That's pretty cool!

Ok, so what is a System date in AX? A system date is the date that is set on your client session. You can manipulate this if something needs to be backdated of forward dated by navigating to File > Tools > Session date and time. Here, you can set the System date to be whatever date you choose.

Current Date and Session Date in system
Current date and Session date in action.

The Session date and time will revert back to the current date and time when you close your AX session or set it back to today's date. When using this function, it is imperative that you keep in mind that changing the session date is affecting the posting date, the source document date, and any period statistics data collected during the time in which you have updated your session date.

If you'd like to see what Session date you are using while in your AX client, that's an easy fix too! Navigate to File > Tools > Options. Within Options, open Status bar and select Show session date. This will add the Session date to the Status bar at the bottom of your AX screen next to the alerts and any other items you may have selected to see there as well.

Another trick that you may not know is that now that you have this session date in your status bar, you can double click on it and change the session date from here as well.


What other date tricks do you know about in AX? Did I miss a commonly accepted date format in the bullets above? Let me know! I would love to learn how others use these little tricks and shortcuts to work in AX and would definitely love to learn something new.


  1. It would be nice if AX would let us enter terms like +45 into the date field and understand that I want 45 calendar days from the current date. Other ERP systems have this feature and it is nice to have for people working in trade roles.

    1. That would be a fantastic bit of functionality. Whenever I tried it, I got 4/5/2017... not exactly 45 days, but more like 70. I guess it took the 45 and made 4/5!