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: Noting the Workbook Creation Date.

Noting the Workbook Creation Date

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated October 3, 2015)

When you are developing a worksheet, you may need to keep track of certain information about your workbook. For instance, you might want to place the creation date of a workbook into a cell. While Excel does provide some worksheet functions for dates (such as NOW or TODAY), it does not provide a worksheet function to access the workbook creation date.

This means that the answer lies in using a macro. For instance, you might create a macro that would determine the current date and input it (as text) into a particular cell. This macro could then be run whenever you created a new workbook by naming the macro Auto_Open. The following is an example of such a macro:

Sub Auto_Open()
    If Worksheets.Application.Range("A1") = "" Then
        Worksheets.Application.Range("A1") = Format(Date, "long Date")
    End If
End Sub

The macro checks to see what is in cell A1. If there is nothing there, then it puts the text version of today's date in there. If there is something already there (which there would be every time you subsequently open the workbook), then the information is left intact and unscathed.

Perhaps the most satisfactory approach, however, is to actually access the operating system and pull the file creation date for the current workbook. This can be done with the following macro function:

Function CreateDate() As String
    Dim Temp As String
    On Error GoTo NoFile
    Temp = CreateObject("scripting.filesystemobject"). _

    CreateDate = Left(Temp, InStr(Temp, " ") - 1)
    GoTo Done
    CreateDate = "Not Saved"
End Function

Notice that this approach isn't tied to a particular cell in your worksheet. To use the macro, simply put the following in any cell of your worksheet:


The function returns either "Not Saved" (if the workbook is brand new and hasn't been saved before) or it returns a text value that represents the date on which the workbook was created.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (2367) 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: Noting the Workbook Creation Date.

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. ...


Leading Zeros in Page Numbers

Page numbers in Excel printouts are typically simple counters, without much chance for embellishment. If you want to add ...

Discover More

Using Parallel Columns

Users of WordPerfect know what parallel columns are. There is no such capability in Word, but there are ways you can ...

Discover More

Automating the Importing of Macros

Macros are great when it comes to automating how you work with your workbooks. What if you want to fundamentally change ...

Discover More

Solve Real Business Problems Master business modeling and analysis techniques with Excel and transform data into bottom-line results. This hands-on, scenario-focused guide shows you how to use the latest Excel tools to integrate data from multiple tables. Check out Microsoft Excel 2013 Data Analysis and Business Modeling today!

More ExcelTips (menu)

Magnifying Only the Current Cell

You can use the Zoom feature of Excel to magnify what Excel shows of your workbook, but it affects the entire screen. ...

Discover More

Unhiding Multiple Worksheets

You can hide a bunch of worksheets at the same time, but Excel makes it impossible to unhide a bunch at once. You can, ...

Discover More

Converting Cells to Proper Case

When storing text in a worksheet, you may have a need to change the case of that text so that the initial letter in each ...

Discover More

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.


If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 1 + 5?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)

This Site

Got a version of Excel that uses the menu interface (Excel 97, Excel 2000, Excel 2002, or Excel 2003)? This site is for you! If you use a later version of Excel, visit our ExcelTips site focusing on the ribbon interface.

Newest Tips

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.