Generate Date-Time for Podcast, Vodcast, or RSS feeds

By , posted 3 July 2006

Whether you are publishing a RSS feed, a Podcast, or a Vodcast, the RSS date/time format is a pain in the neck to create -- especially if you are building the XML in a text editor. To make things quick and simple, I created a single line of VBA (Visual Basic for Applications) code that generates a properly formatted RFC #822 date/time string that you can use in your RSS feed file.

Since the VBA environment is built into all of the Microsoft Office applications (and Outlook as well), getting the date/time is a snap. To have VBA generate a string with the current date-time, follow these steps:

1. Open any Microsoft Office application.

2. Open the Microsoft Visual Basic development editor. Try hitting the shortcut key (Alt-F11) which will open the editor in most Office applications. You can also reach the editor through the menu system. In Microsoft Word, use the Tools > Macro > Visual Basic Editor menu.

3. At the bottom of the screen, you should see the Immediate window. If not, select the View > Immediate Window menu option.

4. Enter the following code into the window (on a single line) and press the Enter key:

? format(Now(),"ddd, dd mmm yyyy hh:mm:ss") & " PST"

Note: I have used PST (for Pacific Standard Time) since I live on the west coast of the United States. You can substitute UT for universal time or GMT for Greenwich Mean Time. Alternately, you can use time standard initials for eastern (EST or EDT), central (CST or CDT), or mountain (MST or MDT) time. Check the RFC #822 for even more specific designations.

5. Copy the generated code for pasting into your RSS file. You should see the properly formatted date and time on the line below the entered code. Simply copy the text and paste it where you need it!

The code statement above will generate correct formating for the current time. If you want to format a specific date/time, you can use code such as:

? format("12/25/06 11:59:59","ddd, dd mmm yyyy hh:mm:ss") & " PST"

In the RSS XML feed file, you can add a publication date to each item like this (see line):

Interview with screenwriter Jack Sekowski
Interview with screenwriter Jack Sekowski with a free download of his produced script "Who's Your Daddy?"
Thu, 01 Jun 2006 09:27:21 GMT

This small line of date generation code should save you some hand wringing. It also prevents accidental mistakes in the date/time that could make your RSS invalid. For complete date formatting information, check out the complete RFC #822 spec (

Dan Rahmel has authored over a dozen books (the popular "Nuts and Bolts Filmmaking" from Focal Press is a recent example), worked as an Art Director and an Electrician in Hollywood feature films and television, and runs the celebrated web site ( for guerilla filmmaking info, free scripts, templates, and general know-how.

Reader Comments

More Posts

4 Filmmaking 'Rabbit Holes' To Avoid

Brian O'Malley from Screenplay Readers takes a look at four areas in the filmmaking process which can end up derailing an otherwise great project.

7-Mar-2018  • 

RED Announces the New Monstro 8K VV Full-Frame Sensor for WEAPON Cameras

RED has had an 8K sensor available for sometime in the form of the RED Dragon VV, but the announcement of the Monstro represents a significant step forward in both quality and simplification of the workflow.

10-Oct-2017  •  Benjamin Craig

Blocker App Brings Augmented Reality Shot-Planning to Your iPhone

With iOS 11 hot of the production line, mixed reality agency AfterNow has wasted no time leveraging Apple's ARKit to deliver a free augmented reality tool to help directors compose their scenes.

27-Sep-2017  •  Benjamin Craig

12 Angry Men- A Lesson in Staging

Using Sidney Lumet's '12 Angry Men', Andrew Saladino from The Royal Ocean Film Society looks at how blocking and staging can add emotion and density to scenes which may otherwise end up rather dull.

11-Sep-2017  •  Benjamin Craig

How to Make a Blockbuster Movie Trailer

The super-talented Craven Moorhaus and Zak Koonce (aka Auralnauts) have created the perfect blueprint for your blockbuster movie trailer.

18-Aug-2017  •  Benjamin Craig