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

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated March 2, 2024)
This tip applies to Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003


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"). _
      GetFile(ActiveWorkbook.Name).dateCreated

    CreateDate = Left(Temp, InStr(Temp, " ") - 1)
    GoTo Done
NoFile:
    CreateDate = "Not Saved"
Done:
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:

=CreateDate()

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.

Note:

If you would like to know how to use the macros described on this page (or on any other page on the ExcelTips sites), I've prepared a special page that includes helpful information. Click here to open that special page in a new browser tab.

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. ...

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