Adding a Calendar to a Worksheet

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated November 23, 2019)


Bruce would like to know if there is a simple way of inserting a standard calendar into a spreadsheet so that dates can be easily selected. Fortunately, there are a couple of ways you can implement calendars.

Excel includes a built-in calendar control, but you need to be aware that the support for the calendar control has been a bit spotty between versions. In other words, you may implement the control in Excel 2007, but that same control may not work properly in Excel 2010 or later versions. Backwards compatibility between versions may be questionable, as well. (Why? Only Microsoft knows, and they are not saying.)

Even so, here's how you can insert the built-in calendar control, in this case in an Excel 2010 worksheet:

  1. Display the Developer tab of the ribbon.
  2. Click the Insert tool, in the Controls group. Excel displays a palette of different controls you can insert.
  3. Click the More Controls option, which is the control at the very bottom-right of the options, under ActiveX Controls. Excel displays the More Controls dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  4. Figure 1. The More Controls dialog box.

  5. Scroll through the list of available controls and choose Microsoft Date and Time Picker Control.
  6. Click OK. The dialog box closes, and the mouse pointer becomes a crosshairs.
  7. Click at the upper-left of where you want the control to appear and drag the mouse to the lower-right corner. When you release the mouse button, the control appears on the screen.
  8. Click the Properties tool in the Controls group. (The Developer tab of the ribbon should still be visible.) Excel displays the Properties dialog box for the control.
  9. Click the Linked Cell property and change it to the address of the cell you want linked to the control.
  10. Close the Properties dialog box.
  11. Click the Design Mode tool in the Controls group.
  12. At this point the Date Picker control should be active in your workbook. Click on the down-arrow at the right of it and you'll see a calendar with which you can select a date. When you leave the control (by clicking someplace else on the worksheet), the linked cell (step 8) is changed to reflect the date you selected using the control.

    You may notice some funky behavior with the Date Picker control. When I first added it to my worksheet and turned off Design Mode, Excel displayed an active control in the upper-left corner of the worksheet and a non-active control at the point where I drew the control. (It happened on two different machines using both Excel 2007 and Excel 2010.) I had to hop back into Design Mode (at which point the control in upper-left corner of the worksheet disappeared), click the control I drew to select it, and then stretch it to be very large. When I turned off Design Mode, the spurious copy of the control at the upper left of the worksheet was gone and I could use the version I drew just fine. Strange behavior, indeed—and part of the frustration of working with Microsoft's calendar controls.

    If you are using Excel 2013 or a later version, there is a very good chance that the Date Picker control won't be on your system. (It isn't with all later versions of Excel, but if you have some of the higher-priced versions that include Access, it may be there.) If it is not on your system, you can try installing the correct control, but the process is not for the timid or faint of heart. And, besides, Bruce said he wanted something that allowed dates to be "easily selected," a definition which seems at odds with going through the convoluted steps to install the correct control. If you would rather install it, you'll want to read the following web page carefully, including the initial post which includes where you can download the control:

    In addition, Ron de Bruin provides some good advice on installing and using date pickers in various versions of Excel:

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (13254) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Office 365.

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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What is two less than 5?

2020-01-23 14:13:44


Hello - I want to add a drop down calendar to a series of cells. Id' like to be able to select a date from the calendar for each new entry on a row. I've only been able to get a calendar in one cell. Is what I am looking for possible?

2018-09-06 08:35:18

George Teachman

I've wanted a date picker since 2007. I've upgraded through all the Years and now am using Office 365 ProPlus Excel. It does not have the Microsoft Date and Time Picker Control.

2018-09-06 06:50:21


To be accurate, this tip is only relevant for Windows users. I have built a calendar picker using a dedicated worksheet and that works on Mac as well (doesn’t use any system specific properties or controls, only “standard” VBA functionality.

2018-09-06 03:46:39


It's ridiculous that Microsoft can't include a calendar control which works across all versions. I don't expect that it should be too hard for a company with their programming experience and expertise - they can do better. Not having a consistent control has resulted in me not adding it to my spreadsheets - I don't want to recode every time I upgrade to a new Excel version and be frustrated when I use an old version.

2016-04-15 09:21:13

amy cribbs

I need a date picker on each line of a 150 line template, so each line can have it's own assigned/chosen date (not the same date in each line). Is it possible to duplicate this for multiple lines or would you have to do this for each line individually?

2014-12-31 13:35:23


I am having an issue where the Calendar will NOT update the linked cell but the linked cell WILL update the calendar.

Has anyone else ran into this or know how to fix it?

2014-09-22 04:51:59

Dave S

When I tried inserting the DatePicker directly on a worksheet, as well as the problem of a 'ghost image' of the controlI also had problems with it resizing itself irrespective of the properties settings (Excel 2010). I ended up using the MonthView control (similar but not identical to DatePicker, but still allows date picking) on a form, with a small form-control command button next to the date entry cell to open the form. We then found this worked on some PCs but not others, which we eventually traced to a legacy issue of Microsoft having issued an update which broke the additional ActiveX controls, followed by another update to fix them again - some users had the most recent updates, others didn't. So what we thought would be a helpful feature turned out to be a bit of a pain.

2014-09-20 15:04:19

Dave Hansen

One might also like to create a macro with a chosen Ctrl+(Key) that performs the transfer to any cell you may be working in.
Lets say the date picker is in cell C1
Macro would be Activecell.Value = Range("C1")
If you lock the top row and column in place you can then pick the date and then highlight the cell you want the date in and press the macro button chosen.

2014-09-20 09:27:33


When i open more control it shows
Listclass and next Microsoft External item picker. it dosenot show microsoft date and time picker

2014-09-20 09:04:42

Colin fursman

Hi I have been building a bills program for my daughter who works in a nursery the bills were calculated on a yearly basses and devied by 12
But know they want to charge for the days booked per month, I have found that if I download a free Callander and link it to the booking and bills program I can use it to produce the correct number of book able days for any month from any year and produce a correct bill for any child on any month

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