Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, and 2013. If you are using an earlier version (Excel 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Excel, click here: Noting When a Workbook was Changed.

Noting When a Workbook was Changed

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated August 31, 2017)

4

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 saved. (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.xlsx")
    Cells(1, 1) = f.DateLastModified
End Sub

To use the macro, just replace the D:\MyFolder\MyFile.xlsx 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. Display the Review tab of the ribbon.
  2. In the Changes group click the Share Workbook tool. Excel displays the Share Workbook dialog box.
  3. Make sure the Editing tab is displayed. (See Figure 1.)
  4. Figure 1. The Editing tab of the Share Workbook dialog box.

  5. Select the Allow Changes check box.
  6. Display the Advanced tab. (See Figure 2.)
  7. Figure 2. The Advanced tab of the Share Workbook dialog box.

  8. Make sure the Keep Change History radio button is selected.
  9. Using the other controls in the dialog box, select the tracking options you want used with the workbook.
  10. Click on OK.
  11. In the Changes group click the Track Changes tool, then choose Highlight Changes from the submenu. Excel displays the Highlight Changes dialog box.
  12. Make sure the List Changes on a New Sheet check box is selected.
  13. 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.

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 (7924) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, and 2013. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel 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

Understanding Underlines

Excel provides a variety of underlining styles you can use when you need to underline information within a cell. Here's ...

Discover More

Changing Page Margins

If your worksheet is destined to be printed, you'll need to be concerned with how it appears on the page. One layout ...

Discover More

Unable to Set Margins in a Document

If you find that you cannot set the margins in a document, chances are good that it is due to document corruption. Here's ...

Discover More

Excel Smarts for Beginners! Featuring the friendly and trusted For Dummies style, this popular guide shows beginners how to get up and running with Excel while also helping more experienced users get comfortable with the newest features. Check out Excel 2013 For Dummies today!

More ExcelTips (ribbon)

Tying Workbooks Together

If you work with multiple workbooks at the same time, you might wonder how to tie them together so they open and close ...

Discover More

Creating Individual Workbooks

Workbooks can contain many worksheets. If you want to pull a workbook apart and create a whole series of workbooks based ...

Discover More

Sudden Increases in Workbook File Size

Workbooks can get rather large rather quickly. If you think your workbook has gotten too big too fast, here are some ...

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. 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 5 + 9?

2017-08-31 15:52:19

Yvan Loranger

Another way to figure out when a workbook was last saved is to use Windows.
Open the Start button, choose Computer and drill down into whatever drive & folders house your workbook.


2017-08-31 09:47:10

Allen

Melanie: When DIM is used without a data type, VBA defaults to declaring the variable as a Variant.

-Allen


2017-08-31 09:32:18

melanie

Hi,
I'm fairly new to the world of VBA so please excuse me if this sounds stupid.
I don't understand why "Dim" is used as shown above. It's not really being used to declare the variable type, e.g., "Dim fs as string", so why have it?
I suspect the Dimension statement defaults to something, but what?
Thanks,
Melanie


2017-08-31 08:39:48

Yvan Loranger

Another way to figure out when a workbook was last saved is to use Windows.
Open the Start button, choose Computer and drill down into whatever drive & folders house your workbook.


This Site

Got a version of Excel that uses the ribbon interface (Excel 2007 or later)? This site is for you! If you use an earlier version of Excel, visit our ExcelTips site focusing on the menu 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.