Hello, everyone - after pulling my hair out for a while on this one a few weeks ago when making the switch from WordPerfect (on Windows) to OpenOffice (for both Linux and Windows), I had a flash of inspiration this morning and thought I'd pass it along.
I'm sure the above solution works perfectly, that is, to change the default template. But I'm used in WordPerfect to being able just to hit CTRL + D and have the date come up in my preferred format, which is "May 13, 2010, Thursday", and really like the keyboard shortcut option. In OpenOffice, it didn't seem possible to have a keyboard shortcut to pull this off. Then I realized:
1) Insert --> Fields --> Date
2) Right-click on field, select "Field"
3) Changed the format to my preferred format (Type = Date; Select = Date (fixed); Format = Additional Formats, then, for me, in the format code field, "MMMM DD, YYYY, NNN". Then click "Ok," then "Ok.")
4) Now, select the entire field, then Edit --> Autotext
5) In the Name field, I call this "Today," with the shortcut "t". Then on the right-hand side of the dialog box, select "Autotext," then "New."
The Autotext field reads the current date and uses it; I verified this by changing the computer's date and the autotext gave me the date I'd changed the computer to.
So viola! Now whenever I want that date format to appear, I click "t + F3," and there it is. Hope this helps somebody.