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Embed a sharable date picker into your Excel spreadsheets and make it available to other users

XLTools Embedded Calendar for Excel workbooks

When you create some Excel documents or templates, and then distribute them to colleagues, customers or partners to fill out, you want to make it easier for them. You also need to minimize possible manual data entry errors, so that you don’t spend much time on data cleaning when people send back the completed documents. When it comes to entering dates – this is where people tend to get rather “creative”.

The Embedded Calendar is a date picker that you can add to your workbooks and help users insert dates and time in cells:

  • Embed the Calendar into specific workbooks you share
  • Define date/time format and other settings to control data input
  • The Calendar is intuitive to use: click on a cell – pick a date

People you share the file with do NOT need to install XLTools to use the Calendar. It is embedded into a workbook as a light-weight macro. Requires saving the workbook as a macro-enabled *.XLSM file.

Before you begin, add Embedded Calendar to Excel

Embedded Calendar is one of the 20+ features within XLTools Add-in for Excel. Works in Excel 2019, 2016, 2013, 2010, desktop Office 365.

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How to embed the Calendar into Excel workbook

  1. Make sure that developer macro settings are enabled:

    Developer tab Macro Security Check Trust access to the VBA project object model.

    Or: File Options Trust Center Trust Center Settings Macro Settings Check Trust access to the VBA project object model.

    Enable access to the VBA project
  2. Open the workbook, where you want to embed the date picker.

  3. XLTools tab In the Date & Time group, open the drop-down list Click Embed into this workbook.

    How to embed a date picker into Excel workbook
  4. If prompted to save the workbook, click Save Save the workbook in *.XLSM format.

    Calendar embedded successfully, save as macro-enabled workbook
Note: The Embedded Calendar cannot be saved in a macro-free workbook. We recommend that you save the workbook in macro-enabled *.XLSM format.
Although *.XLS format also supports macros, and you can embed the Calendar into *.XLS workbook, we don't recommend it. *.XLS is a vulnerable older Excel format, and when you share or send such spreadsheet to other users, it may be blocked by their antivirus programs as malware.

How to change settings of the Embedded Calendar

Embedded Calendar settings define how the date picker will display and work in a specific workbook – on your computer, as well as on computers of other users who you share the workbook with.

When you initially embed the calendar into your workbook, it inherits your default settings of the Popup Calendar.

To change Embedded Calendar's settings in the workbook:

  1. Open XLTools tab Settings Date/Time tab.

    Or: click the arrow button in the corner of the Date & Time group.

  2. Change settings as you need.

  3. Click OK Done!

Set the embedded calendar options for other users to access it
  • Check the box Display the calendar and clock icons next to cells to make the date picker available from the popup icon. The icon will pop up next to the cells with date/time format. Clicking on the icon will bring out the Calendar.
  • Check the box Display “Insert Date” in context menu to make the Calendar accessible from the right-click context menu. Users can insert dates only.
  • Check the box Display “Insert Time” in context menu to make the Clock accessible from the right-click context menu. Users can insert time only.
  • Check the box Display “Insert Date & Time” in context menu to make the Calendar together with the Clock accessible from the right-click context menu. Users can insert dates together with time.
  • Check the box Auto-increment dates when used in ranges, and when users populate entire ranges, date values will be inserted consecutively with 1 day increments.
  • Check the box Auto-increment time when used in ranges and when users populate entire ranges, the time values will be inserted consecutively with 1 hour increments.
  • Check the box Use this format as default, and all date and time values inserted with the Embedded Calendar will follow the format you specified. You can set the date/time format common in your country or language, or set your own custom format.

How to remove the Embedded Calendar from a workbook

  1. Open the workbook with the Embedded Calendar.
  2. XLTools tab In the Date & Time group, open the drop-down list Click Remove from workbook.
  3. Done!
How to remove a date picker from Excel workbook

If I share the workbook, will the Calendar be available to other users?

Once you embed the Calendar and share or send the workbook to other users, they will be able to use the Calendar in this workbook. They do NOT need to install XLTools add-in on their computers.

  • Other people can use the Embedded Calendar in your specific workbook
  • The Calendar will work exactly as you have specified in the settings
  • Users cannot change the settings of the Embedded Calendar

The Embedded Calendar will be available to the majority of Excel users, but there are some limitations. It will be available if users have:

  • Excel 2010 – 2021, installed desktop versions. Not suitable for mobile and web versions of Excel.
  • Microsoft .NET Framework 4.0 and higher. This is a Microsoft prerequisite necessary for the Embedded Calendar to function properly. Usually it is already installed on users' computers.
  • Windows 7 – 11
Note: Embedded Calendar is not supported on Mac.

What to keep in mind when you share the workbook with others

You can share the spreadsheet with Embedded Calendar with other users by email, or upload it to a cloud drive, e.g. Microsoft OneNote, Google Drive, or Dropbox. Just like you would share any other file.

When users open the spreadsheet on their computers, it will open in protected view. To edit the workbook and use the Calendar, users will need to Enable Editing:

Enable editing macros received by email
Enable editing macros received from the internet

While we take every step to ensure that Embedded Calendar macro is secure, note that:

  • No file can be 100% secure when transmitted over the internet. When you share the spreadsheet with other people, use the channels you trust.
  • We cannot guarantee that when users receive the workbook with Embedded Calendar, their systems will not block the file. Computer systems and cloud storages have various security policies to treat macros. Some may raise red flags or block macros as malware.
  • We recommend that you embed the Calendar into *.XLSM workbooks, which is a more secure format compared to *.XLS – older and more vulnerable Excel format.

There is a security warning, what does it mean?

When you open an Excel file and see a message bar “Security warning: macros have been disabled”, this means that the spreadsheet contains macros and Excel has disabled them. A macro is a series of commands which automate tasks.

The Embedded Calendar is essentially a macro which adds a date picker functionality to spreadsheets. To use the Calendar in the spreadsheet, users should enable macros in Excel.

Note: files with macros can be potentially dangerous, especially when received over the internet. When you see the security warning, enable content only if you trust the file and it comes from a reliable source. Learn more about macros.

To enable macros in a specific workbook, click Enable Content on Excel message bar:
Security warning in a macro-enabled workbook

To enable all macros, open File Options Trust Center Trust Center Settings Macro Settings Select Enable all macros:

How to enable all macros
Any questions or suggestions?
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