Excel Calendar Drop Down: A Quick and Easy Way to Input Dates

Excel Calendar Drop Down: A Quick and Easy Way to Input Dates

When it comes to data entry in Excel, inputting dates is a common task. Yet, manually typing out dates can be tedious and prone to errors. An efficient way to streamline this process is by incorporating a calendar drop-down tool. This not only ensures accuracy, but also enhances the user experience. Let’s dive into how you can add a calendar drop-down in Excel, making date input swift and painless.

Why Use a Calendar Drop Down?

  1. Accuracy: It minimizes the chances of entering an incorrect date format or an invalid date.
  2. Efficiency: No need to manually type out the date.
  3. User-friendly: Provides a visual calendar for users to pick a date.

Excel Calendar Drop Down in Excel 2007:

1. Show Developer Tab:

  • Click on the Office button (top-left corner).
  • Choose ‘Excel Options’ at the bottom.
  • In the ‘Popular’ category, check the ‘Show Developer tab in the Ribbon’ option.
  • Click OK.

2. Insert ActiveX Control:

  • Go to the ‘Developer’ tab.
  • In the ‘Controls’ group, choose ‘Insert’ and then select ‘More Controls’ (the hammer and wrench icon).
  • From the list, find and select ‘Microsoft Date and Time Picker Control 6.0 (SP6)’ and click OK.
  • You can now draw the control on your worksheet.

3. Linking the Date Picker to a Cell:

  • Right-click on the calendar control you placed on the sheet.
  • Choose ‘Properties’.
  • In the properties window, find the ‘LinkedCell’ property. Here, specify the cell where you want the date to be placed (e.g., A1).
  • Close the properties window.

4. Adjusting Date Format:

  • The date might not appear in your preferred format by default.
  • Right-click on the cell you linked to the date picker.
  • Choose ‘Format Cells’.
  • Under the ‘Number’ tab, select ‘Date’, and choose your preferred date format.
  • Click OK.

Potential Issues in Excel 2007:

There can be instances where the ‘Microsoft Date and Time Picker Control 6.0 (SP6)’ might not be available, especially if the required ActiveX controls aren’t installed on the machine. In such situations, you might need to explore third-party tools or use a manual method with drop-down lists for days, months, and years.

How to Create a Calendar Drop Down in Excel:

1. Enable Developer Tab

Before you can insert a calendar control, the Developer tab needs to be active.

  • Click on File and choose Options.
  • In the Excel Options dialog box, click Customize Ribbon in the left pane.
  • On the right side, check the Developer option.
  • Click OK.

2. Insert the Date Picker

  • Go to the Developer tab on the Ribbon.
  • Click on Insert and from the controls, select More Controls (it looks like a wrench and hammer).
  • In the list, find and select Microsoft Date and Time Picker Control. Click OK.
  • Now, draw the control on your worksheet.

3. Linking the Date Picker to a Cell

You’ll probably want the chosen date to appear in a specific cell.

  • Right-click the date picker control and choose Properties.
  • Find the property called LinkedCell and set it to the cell where you want the date to appear (e.g., A1).
  • Close the properties window.

Now, when you pick a date from the drop-down, it’ll automatically populate the linked cell.

4. Adjusting the Format

By default, the date may not be in the format you want. To adjust it:

  • Right-click on the cell you linked the date picker to.
  • Choose Format Cells.
  • In the Number tab, choose Date and select the desired format.
  • Click OK.


If you’re unable to see or use the Microsoft Date and Time Picker Control, it might be due to not having the necessary ActiveX controls or using a version of Excel that doesn’t support it. In such cases, you can consider third-party add-ins or using a combination of drop-down lists for day, month, and year as an alternative.

Wrapping Up:

The Excel calendar drop-down feature is a nifty tool that saves time and ensures accuracy. Whether you’re building a schedule, a task tracker, or a finance report, using this function can elevate your worksheet’s functionality and user-friendliness. And, like many features in Excel, once you get the hang of it, you’ll wonder how you ever got along without it!

  1. Daniel 11 months ago

    I am unable to find the Calenda Control in the controls group under Developer tab.

    • Author
      Cansu Aydin 11 months ago

      Hi Daniel!

      Tomorrow I will update here and share a much more detailed article. Thank you for your interest.

  2. Enza Rattenni 4 months ago

    I followed the instructions below but no drop-down calendar appeared.
    To insert a calendar drop-down in Excel, follow these steps:

    Select the cell where you want to insert the calendar drop-down.
    Go to the “Data” tab in the ribbon and click on the “Data Validation” button.
    Select the “Data Validation” tab in the “Data” dialogue box.
    In the “Allow” dropdown, select “Date”.
    In the “Data” dropdown, select “Between”.
    In the “Start date” and “End date” fields, specify the range of dates that you want to allow in the calendar drop-down.
    Click “OK” to insert the calendar drop-down.

  3. Author
    Cansu Aydin 4 months ago

    Hi! :’)

    Implementing the Excel Calendar Drop Down feature into your spreadsheet is a straightforward process that requires just a few simple steps:

    Select the Cell: Begin by selecting the cell where you want the date to appear.

    Data Tab: Navigate to the “Data” tab on the Excel ribbon.

    Data Validation: Click on “Data Validation” in the “Data Tools” group.

    Settings: In the Data Validation dialog box, choose “Date” in the “Allow” field.

    Source: In the “Source” field, select “Date” for the type of date you want to input.

    Input Message (Optional): You can add an input message to guide users on how to use the calendar drop down effectively.

    Error Alert (Optional): Configure an error alert to notify users in case they input an invalid date.

    Save and Enjoy: Click “OK” to apply the settings. Now, when you click on the selected cell, a calendar drop-down arrow will appear. Clicking on it lets you easily pick the desired date.

  4. Brew44 4 months ago

    Hi I followed these instructions, however the calendar drop down does not appear.
    I’m using Excel for Microsoft 365 (Version 2307 Build 16.0.16626.20086) 64-bit
    is it possible that this solution only works in earlier versions?

  5. Mike Vail 3 months ago

    Joining the crowd here. Your instructions do not create a calendar drop down. This function only validates the date data you enter, it does not drop a calendar down and don’t think it ever has?

    Seems like a calendar drop down is more difficult than it should. May have to use VBA or the Date Picker tool which seems impossible to register.

    Any suggestions or links would be much appreciated to build a calendar drop down to each necessary cell.


  6. Elias Santiago 2 months ago

    I believe this is for Google Sheets and not for Excel!

    • Author
      Cansu Aydin 2 months ago

      Actually, yes, that should have been the subject, but there was a keyword confusion.

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