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 When a Workbook was Changed.

Noting When a Workbook was Changed

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated November 1, 2014)

In an environment where multiple people work on the same workbook, you may want a way to keep track of when people last changed a workbook. There are a couple of ways you can approach this task. One is to simply figure out when a workbook was last saved. This approach works well if you assume that any changes to the workbook are always changed. (Unsaved changes, of course, are not really a lasting change at all.) The following macro returns the date that a workbook was saved and stores that date in cell A1:

Sub DateLastModified()
    Dim fs, f
    Set fs = CreateObject("Scripting.FileSystemObject")
    Set f = fs.GetFile("D:\MyFolder\MyFile.xls")
    Cells(1, 1) = f.DateLastModified
End Sub

To use the macro, just replace the D:\MyFolder\MyFile.xls file specification with whatever is appropriate for you.

If you want a history sheet of who did what with your workbook, then a different approach is necessary. Perhaps the best solution is to try Excel's sharing feature, which can be configured to keep a history log for a workbook. Follow these steps:

  1. Choose Share Workbook from the Tools menu. Excel displays the Share Workbook dialog box.
  2. Make sure the Editing tab is displayed.
  3. Select the Allow Changes check box.
  4. Display the Advanced tab.
  5. Make sure the Keep Change History radio button is selected.
  6. Using the other controls in the dialog box, select the tracking options you want used with the workbook.
  7. Click on OK.
  8. Choose Track Changes from the Tools menu, then choose Highlight Changes from the submenu. Excel displays the Highlight Changes dialog box.
  9. Make sure the List Changes on a New Sheet check box is selected.
  10. Click OK.

As changes are made to the workbook, Excel tracks those changes (along with who made them) and puts them in a separate worksheet so you can review them later.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (2935) 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 When a Workbook was Changed.

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. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Inserting the Name of the Last Person to Save the Document

Who saved the document the last time? Word keeps track of that information, and you can insert the person's name into the ...

Discover More

Copying Named Ranges

Named ranges are a great tool to use in developing formula-heavy workbooks. You may want, at some point, to copy your named ...

Discover More

Full-Screen Mode in Word 2007

Full-screen mode in Word 2007 doesn't work exactly the same as it did in earlier versions of Word. Don't fret; the ...

Discover More

Comprehensive VBA Guide Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) is the language used for writing macros in all Office programs. This complete guide shows both professionals and novices how to master VBA in order to customize the entire Office suite for their needs. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2010 today!

More ExcelTips (menu)

Highlighting the Rows of Selected Cells

If you lose your place on the screen quite often, you might find it helpful to have not just a single cell highlighted, but ...

Discover More

Inserting a Row or Column

When editing worksheets, it is important to know how to add rows and columns. Excel provides a couple of quick ways you can ...

Discover More

Displaying a Hidden First Row

If you hide the first rows of a worksheet, you may have a hard time getting those rows visible again. Here's a simple way to ...

Discover More
Subscribe

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

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

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. 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 five less than 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
Subscribe

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.