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Add a Date Picker Control to Excel (The Free Way)

Given the diversity of date formats, installing a date selector is a good choice, especially for those who often deal with external documents.

But if you don't want to use third-party apps, here is how to implement one by using existing tools.

Note: The procedure described here is suitable for 32-bit Excel only. To find out whether you’re using a 32-bit Excel, click the Excel menu File > Account > About Excel.

  1. Open the Excel file that you want to add the date picker to.
  2. Make sure the Developer ribbon tab is visible.

    If you don't see the Developer ribbon tab, you can enable it by clicking on File > Options > Customize Ribbon > Main Tabs > Developer.

  3. Click on the Developer tab and select Insert from the Controls group.

    Insert an ActiveX control

  4. From the ActiveX Controls section, select More Controls.
  5. Scroll down and select Microsoft Date and Time Picker Control 6.0 (SP6).

    Select the date time picker control

    If there is no Microsoft Date and Time Picker Control 6.0 (SP6), you need to download it.

    1. Search online for mscomct2.ocx and download it.
    2. Right-click on the file you downloaded and choose Properties.
    3. Choose Digital Signatures and verify its digital signature is correct.

      Verify the digital signature of the control file

    4. If you're using 64-bit Windows, put mscomct2.ocx in this folder:
      C:\Windows\SysWoW64\ 
                             

      If you're using 32-bit Windows, put mscomct2.ocx in this folder:

      C:\Windows\System32\ 
                             
    5. Right-click the Windows Start button, run Windows Terminal (Admin), and then enter the following command if your Windows is 64-bit:
      regsvr32.exe C:\Windows\SysWoW64\mscomct2.ocx 
                             

      Register the control file

    6. Restart Excel. Now you can find Microsoft Date and Time Picker Control 6.0 (SP6) in Excel.
  6. Click on OK to insert the date picker control.
  7. Now, click on the cell where you want to insert the date picker.
  8. Resize the control to a proper size.
  9. Right-click on the control and then choose Properties.

    Set control properties

  10. In the Linked Cell field, enter the cell where you want the picker control to put the date value. In this case, the cell is "D3".
  11. Close the Properties window.
  12. Click the Design Mode button on the Developer ribbon tab to unselect it.
  13. Now, when you need to enter or change the date value of the cell that you have a date and time picker control linked to, click the "Pull Down" button of the control to pull down the calendar where you can pick a date value.

    Pick a date value

  14. Download the sample file: date-picker-the-free-way.zip.

The advantage of this method is that it is free.

The disadvantages of this method are obvious.

  • This date picker control is an ActiveX control. Your company policy may disable it.
  • It works with 32-bit Excel only.
  • You must modify the Excel file to use it.
  • It works only for the cell and file that you have modified. I.e., it does not automatically apply to other date cells and Excel files.

Our date picker add-in isn't free of charge after the full functional trial period. However, it overcomes the disadvantages of the ActiveX control. Our date picker is implemented as a COM add-in. It activates an icon button if a cell you select is a date cell, which you can click to open a multiple-month calendar. Visit the tutorial movie to find out how it works.