How to Create a Drop-Down Calendar in Excel

Updated April 17, 2017

Learning how to create a drop-down calendar in Excel makes it possible for you to enter dates in your workbooks with a single mouse click, instead of multiple characters you have to type. The drop-down calendar greatly reduces data-entry errors and guarantees that the date entered will be a valid date. To create a drop-down calendar in Excel, first enable the "Developer" tab, which has the calendar control. Open Excel's control gallery, insert the control, and then indicate where you want Excel to insert the control's date value once a user selects a date.

Click the "Office" button, and then click "New." Click the "Create" button on the dialogue box to accept the default values for a new Excel workbook.

Click the "Office" button again, and then click the "Options" button. Click the "Show developer tab" check box to display the tab containing the drop-down calendar control.

Click the "Developer" tab, and then click the "Insert" button of the "Controls" panel. Excel will display a list of controls you can insert in your workbook. None of the displayed controls is a drop-down calendar, but Excel enables access to more controls than those shown.

Click the icon in the lower-right corner of the control gallery that appears, to run the "More controls" command. Excel will display a dialogue box that lists additional controls you can enter in your workbook.

Click the item labelled "Microsoft date and time picker," and then click "OK" to insert the calendar in your worksheet.

Right-click the calendar, and then click "Properties" to display a window allowing you to process the date that a user picks with the calendar control.

Type the reference for a spreadsheet cell in the row labelled "Linked cell." For example, type "G4" to indicate cell G4 of the current worksheet. The calendar control will insert the date the user picks in this cell.

Click the "Design mode" button of the "Controls" panel to exit design mode and enter user-input mode.

Click the down arrow of the calendar control, and then click any date in the drop-down calendar that appears. The cell whose reference you entered in Step 7 will fill with the date you chose.

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About the Author

Darrin Koltow wrote about computer software until graphics programs reawakened his lifelong passion of becoming a master designer and draftsman. He has now committed to acquiring the training for a position designing characters, creatures and environments for video games, movies and other entertainment media.