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Currently I add the creation time to my org files with +date: %U in the template string. Works fine and is human readable.

I also would like to have that for the modification time, too.

I know org-roam-timestamps mode. But the format is not customizable and just a bunch of numbers in YYYYMMDDHHMMSS format.

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  • Write a function to add a property in whatever format you want. Then add the function to before-save-hook so that it will be run just before the buffer is saved.
    – NickD
    Jan 9 at 14:13
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    @NickD And there is already a function for this. gnu.org/software/emacs/manual/html_node/autotype/…
    – nichijou
    Jan 9 at 16:30
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    @nichijou: Please consider adding that info as an answer to the question.
    – Drew
    Jan 9 at 17:51

1 Answer 1

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Emacs has a built-in package time-stamp for this scenario.

(add-hook 'before-save-hook #'time-stamp) ; the eponymous function that does the work.

(with-eval-after-load 'time-stamp
  (setq time-stamp-format "%Y-%02m-%02d %02H:%02M:%02S")
  (setq time-stamp-start "^date-of-update: ")
  (setq time-stamp-end "$")
  (setq time-stamp-line-limit 4))
  ;; all above options are safe as local.

Now you place "date-of-update: " at the first 4 line of your buffer. Then everytime you save your buffer, the timestamp is updated automacically.

ref: https://www.gnu.org/software/emacs/manual/html_node/autotype/Timestamps.html

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  • Thanks a lot for the code. I am afraid I'm to far a way from lisp to understand how to integrate that into my init.el and my org-roam config. It is a lack of basic knowledge I know. My apologize. Btw: What does the ^ in front of date-of-update mean?
    – buhtz
    Jan 10 at 12:41
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    @buhtz regexp thing, "^" & "$" match line-begin and line-end respectively.
    – nichijou
    Jan 10 at 12:43
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    @buhtz Your can just copy-paste the code and alter time-stamp-format and time-stamp-format part as per your need. I believe it will work.
    – nichijou
    Jan 10 at 12:50

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