Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Excel 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Excel, click here: Specifying Date Formats in Headers.

Specifying Date Formats in Headers

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated January 11, 2014)

Normally, the dates used by Excel in headers and footers (with the [DATE] code) are based on the regional settings controlled by Windows. Thus, if your local settings show the date in a specific format in Windows itself, that is the same format that Excel will use in headers and footers.

This can be a drawback if you are required to maintain a certain type of system date format for compatibility with other systems in your office, but you need to use a different date format in the header or footer of a specific worksheet. The only way around this problem is to either change the regional settings within Windows, or revert to using a macro to set the appropriate area of your header or footer.

For instance, let's say you wanted to set the right header equal to the current date in the format m/d/yy. To do that, you can use a very simple macro, such as the following:

Sub HeaderDate()
    ActiveSheet.PageSetup.RightHeader = Format(Date, "m/d/yy")
End Sub

To use this, simply run it and it adds the date, in the specified format, into the right section of the header. If you want the information added to a different place in the footer or header, you simply replace the RightHeader portion of the macro with one of the following: LeftFooter, CenterFooter, RightFooter, LeftHeader, or CenterHeader.

To change the format in which the date is added, simply change the format used in the Format function. There are all sorts of patterns you can use for the date; check the online Help system for information about the Format function in VBA.

You should note that dates added to headers or footers in this manner are not dynamic, as is the result of the [DATE] code. When you use the macro to insert the date, it is inserted as a text string. If you later want to change the date to something else (like the then-current date), you will need to rerun the macro.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (2188) applies to Microsoft Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Excel (Excel 2007 and later) here: Specifying Date Formats in Headers.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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