I'm trying to create a date variable for a production template in Photoshop so that it updates to the current date when I save a new version of the document. It doesn't seem like much but over time it could save a ton of clicking and typing. Any ideas? I know you can do this in InDesign but unfortunately our studio doesn't spring for that.

  • not sure about variable but it'll whole lot easy with script,
    – Mr.Online
    Sep 17, 2019 at 2:57

1 Answer 1


To my knowledge there're no date variables in Photoshop but this can be solved using a simple script and Photoshop Events Manager system which allows to run Actions or Scripts after a particular event was fired in PS.

For instance, in a document I have a bunch of layers and a text layer called _dateTextItem:

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And I have this script saved anywhere on a computer as a .jsx file: setDate.jsx:

 * @description this function will change the contents of a text layer _dateTextItem to current date and time

    var dateLayer;

        dateLayer = activeDocument.layers.getByName("_dateTextItem");
    catch (e)
        // if no _dateTextItem layer found, aborting

    var newDate = new Date();
    var yyyy = newDate.getFullYear();
    var mm = newDate.getMonth() + 1;
    var dd = newDate.getDate();
    var hh = newDate.getHours();
    var min = newDate.getMinutes();
    var sec = newDate.getSeconds();
    var milliseconds = newDate.getMilliseconds();

    // the format will be YYYY/MM/DD — HH:Min:Sec, change to your preferred version
    dateLayer.textItem.contents = yyyy + "/" + zeroPad(mm) + "/" + zeroPad(dd) + " — " + zeroPad(hh) + ":" + zeroPad(min) + ":" + zeroPad(sec);

    function zeroPad(value)
        if (String(value).length == 1) return "0" + String(value);
        return value;

The script will look for a _dateTextItem layer and change it contents to a date. If no layer is found, the script will ignore the document.

Now, in Photoshop File > Scripts > Script Event Manager... window..

  1. I select an event (Save Document);
  2. Chose a script (Browse.. and navigate to my .jsx file);
  3. Add the listener to the list;
  4. And done.

enter image description here

And now if I save my document, the content of the _dateTextItem will change to the date, specified in the script:

enter image description here

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