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. ...


Creating Compound Characters

Word provides access to a wide variety of characters either from the keyboard or from the Symbol dialog box. Up and above ...

Discover More

Using the IF Worksheet Function

Programmers know that a staple of any language is the ability to create conditional statements. Excel understands this, ...

Discover More

Automatically Moving from Cell to Cell when Entering Data

As you enter data in a worksheet, you may want to have Excel automatically move from cell to cell based on the length of ...

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)

Limiting Number of Characters in a Cell

Need to limit the number of characters that can be entered into a cell? One easy way to do it is through the use of Data ...

Discover More

Dealing with Long Formulas

If your worksheet formulas seem to go on forever, here's a handy way to make them more understandable. (All you need to ...

Discover More

Selecting the Current Region

Most of Excel's commands affect whatever cells you select prior to invoking the command. Some commands, however, affect ...

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 4 + 4?

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.