How Can I Put a Last Updated in My Excel Workbook?

Microsoft Excel does not provide an easy way to add a field to inform readers of when a file was last updated. The two time functions provided by Excel, NOW and TIME, provide information on the current time -- however, calling these functions in your file updates the cell with the current time as soon as you open the file, even if the document does not change. Using these functions with no cell protection will not give you or your users a reliable method to determine the last time the file was saved. The best solution to this problem is creating a macro for your Excel file to read the file properties that store the last time the file was saved.

Young Businessman Using Computer At Desk
Add date stamps to your Microsoft Excel spreadsheets using macros.
credit: AndreyPopov/iStock/Getty Images

Step

Open your Excel spreadsheet and save your file as a macro-enabled Excel file. If your file is not already saved in this format, then Excel pops up a warning window. Click "No," then select "Excel Macro-Enabled Workbook" in the "Save as type" drop-down menu.

Step

Press "Alt-F11" to open the Microsoft Visual Basic for Applications window.

Step

Click "Insert," then "Module" in the top menu.

Step

Copy and paste the following code into the window:

Step

Function LastSavedTimeStamp() As Date LastSavedTimeStamp = ActiveWorkbook.BuiltinDocumentProperties("Last Save Time") End Function

Step

Return to your Excel spreadsheet view and click in the cell that you want to display your time stamp.

Step

Enter "=LastSavedTimeStamp()" (without quotes) into the cell, and press "Enter."

Step

Notice that the value may not appear in a date format. If this is the case, right-click on the cell and select "Format cells." Select "Date" in the left column, then click on the date and time format you desire. Click "Ok" to apply the formatting.

Step

Save your file and note that the date stamp is updated only when you save the file and not when you simply open it for viewing.