How to enter a Date

Wednesday 23 January 2019 by Fouke Boss

Centurial supports an already extensive and growing collection of calendars. In this blog we discuss the various ways in which you can enter a date in Centurial.

Date editor

In Centurial, dates can be entered using a date editor. Users can come across one of these date editors in various screens and dialogs. For example, when adding a cemetery as a source, a date editor is offered to enter the date you accessed a grave marker or other memorial, like this:

As you can see, the date editor is completely empty as long as no date is entered. This all changes when the date editor is given focus, by clicking it with the mouse pointer or by using the Tab key:

By now, the date editor is showing the user which calendar is selected (Gregorian) and which parts make up a Gregorian date: dd (days), mm (month) and yyyy (year).

Enter a date using numberic keys

The easiest way to enter a date in Centurial, is to use the numeric keypad or the number keys on your keyboard. For example, if you enter 18062014, you end up with the date of 18 June 2014 of the Gregorian calendar:

If you make an error while typing, you can use the backspace key to remove the last digit.

Selecting a calendar

A calendar is a system to identify every earth day by a unique code: the date. Through the ages, many calendars have been developed and used. Centurial currently supports 3 calendars, with a fourth coming in v1.9. This number will grow in future releases.

  • The Gregorian calendar. According to Wikipedia, 'the Gregorian calendar is the most widely used civil calendar in the world. It is named after Pope Gregory XIII, who introduced it in October 1582'.
  • The Julian calendar. This calendar 'was he predominant calendar in the Roman world, most of Europe, and in European settlements in the Americas and elsewhere, until it was gradually replaced by the Gregorian calendar', although it 'is still used in parts of the Eastern Orthodox Church, in parts of Oriental Orthodoxy and Anabaptism...' (Wikipedia).
  • The French Republican calendar. This 'was a calendar created and implemented during the French Revolution, and used by the French government for about 12 years from late 1793 to 1805, and for 18 days by the Paris Commune in 1871' (Wikipedia).
  • The Swedish calendar (v1.9). When Sweden decided to switch from the Julian to the Gregorian calendar around 1700, they choose to do this in small steps over a 40 year period. However, The Great Northern War messed up this plan, causing Sweden to have a calendar unlike any other country between 1700 and 1754, even having a 30 February in 1712 (Wikipedia).

When entering dates it is best to first select the desired calendar. One way to achieve this is by entering the first character of the name of the calendar. For example, the day that brought General Napoleon Bonaparte to power as First Consul of France, ending the Fench Revolution, was 18 Brumaire An VIII of the French Republican calendar. Since Brumaire is the second month of the French Republican calendar and VIII is the roman number 8, one enters f18020008:

Likewise, one uses the g for a Gregorian date, j for a Julian date and s for a Swedish date.

Enter a date using the arrow keys

Another way to enter dates in the date editor is by using the arrow keys. Use the and keys to change the selected (green) part of the date. Then use the and keys to increment and decrement the selected part.

Using shift + will increment the date part by 10 steps at a time, while ctrl + lets you take 100 steps at once:

The arrow keys are also very useful when you want to correct a date in the date editor. First select the date part you wish to correct using the and , then use either the numeric keys or the and keys to correct the selected part. If you want to clear the selected part, press the delete key.

Also, the arrow keys can be useful for entering partial dates (dates with one ore more parts missing or unknown) or for entering dates with negative years. For example, the death month of Julius Caesar in March of 46 B.C. could be entered like this:

Date ranges

On some screens, like the Source Editor, the date editor even allows the user to enter date ranges by letting the user choose the range type: on (an exact date, the default), before, after and between. The range type can be changed using the arrow keys or by using = for on, < for before, > for after and | for between (this last one will be introduced in v1.9). For example: