How to Make an Interactive Calendar in Excel

This guide will explain how to create your own interactive calendar in an Excel spreadsheet.

We can use a custom formula that will fill a calendar template automatically with the right dates given a particular month and year.

Calendars are an essential tool for anyone with a busy work schedule. You can use calendars to help you keep track of deadlines, meetings, and other important events. 

Since Excel sheets often use date values, you may want to create an interactive calendar that works inside your workbook.

With an interactive calendar, the user can select a month and year to display in the worksheet. Users can add conditional formatting and other conditional formulas to highlight certain dates. 

In this guide, we will explain how to create your own working calendar from scratch using Excel functions and number formatting. We will provide a sample template that you can add to your own workbooks.

We can do so much with an interactive calendar in Excel. Let’s take a closer look at how a sample Excel calendar works and how the user can interact with it.

A Real Example of an Interactive Calendar in Excel

The following section provides several examples of how to use this function. We will also go into detail about the formulas and tools used in these examples.

First, let’s take a look at a real example of an interactive calendar template in Excel.

The template below shows a calendar for October 2022. The template uses a 7×6 grid that resembles what you may actually find in a physical or digital calendar.

interactive calendar in Excel

 

To get the days in our template, we used the following formula:

=IF(MONTH(DATE(C3;C4;1)+SEQUENCE(6;7)-C5-1)=C4;DATE(C3;C4;1)+SEQUENCE(6;7)-C5-1;"")

The SEQUENCE(6,7) sections of our formula allow us to create consecutive date values starting from the first month of the chosen year. 

We use the IF function to check if the dates are all within the chosen month. If this is not the case, the cell will be left blank. This is how we got blank cells before October 1st in the earlier example.

Do you want to take a closer look at our examples? You can make your own copy of the spreadsheet above using the link attached below. 

Use our sample spreadsheet to test out how the days in the grid change depending on what month and year are selected.

If you want to try building your own interactive calendar, head over to the next section to read our step-by-step breakdown on how to do it!

How to Make an Interactive Calendar in Excel

This section will guide you through each step you need to create your own interactive calendar. You’ll first learn how to add data validation for the Month picker. 

We’ll show you how to determine which day of the week a month starts with. This will be important when filling out the actual 7×6 grid.

Lastly, we’ll also show you how to add the actual formula that will be returning the date values and how to format them as days. 

Follow these steps to start building your own interactive calendar.:

  1. First, we’ll create a template that resembles a calendar. We’ll need a grid that has a dimension of 7×6. We’ll also need to provide a range in our sheet for the user to select the month and year.

    add template for interactive calendar
  2. We’ll improve our month picker by adding a drop-down list. We’ll use the Data Validation tool to convert the cell into a drop-down list.

    use Data Validation tool to create month picker cell
    In the
    Data tab, select the Data Validation option. We’ll use the List option and provide a comma-separated list of months as our source. Click OK to apply these changes to the cell.
  3. Next, we’ll add a simple formula for the header of our calendar view. We used the formula =C2&” “&C3 to combine the user-provided month and year.

    add label for current month and year for the interactive calendar in Excel

  4. We’ll use the WEEKDAY function to return the day of the week the chosen month starts.

    use WEEKDAY formula

  5. Next, we’ll add the custom formula from the previous section. Paste the formula in the top-left cell in the calendar. The formula should return a range of date values that fall in their corresponding days of the week.

    use custom formula to generate dates

  6. Next, we’ll have to apply custom formatting to the calendar dates. Select the cells in the 7×6 grid and type the keyboard shortcut Ctrl + 1 to open the Format Cells dialog box.

    add custom formatting to show only the day of the date
    Select the Custom category and type ‘dd’ into the text box. This number format code forces our date to show only the day. For example, January 2nd, 2022, will appear as ‘02’. Click on OK to apply the custom formatting to our range
  7. Your calendar should now be readable. The user can interact with the calendar by changing the month and year in cells C2 and C3.

    finished template with interactive calendar in Excel

These are all the steps you need to build your own interactive calendar in Microsoft Excel.

 

 

This step-by-step guide should provide you with all the information you need to create an interactive calendar template in Excel.

You can expand on the template by adding conditional formatting to indicate the current date, weekends, or even holidays.

Creating an interactive calendar is just one example of the many Excel tools you can create in your spreadsheets. Our website offers hundreds of other functions and methods to help you get more out of Microsoft Excel.

With so many other Excel functions available, you can find one appropriate for your use case.

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