15 Years of Excel Tips

The Internet says that 15 years ago this month, I started my Contextures Excel Tips website. And since the Internet is never wrong, it must be true! The dates are a little hazy, because that was a loooong time ago, but it was definitely 2000 that I got the website up and running.

This week, I took a look back, and figured out how to get an Excel list that shows the original creation date of all my sample files. You can download a workbook with the sample code, below.

15 Years of Excel Tips – How Old Are Your Files? http://blog.contextures.com/

Thanks For Your Support

First of all, thank you for visiting my blog and website over all these years – I appreciate it! Your questions, comments, and support have kept me motivated and inspired.

And thanks to everyone who shares their Excel knowledge, in forums, websites, blogs, books, webinars, podcasts and videos. Long ago, I learned so much from participating in the old Microsoft newsgroups, and now there are countless new places to learn more about Excel.

I’m forever grateful to amazing friends who have contributed to my site, with sample files, article ideas, and behind the scenes help and encouragement. Ron Coderre, AlexJ, Harald Staff and Kirill Lapin are among those who contributed multiple times, and you’ll find their names, and many others, on the sample files, web pages and blog posts on my site.

Finally, special thanks to Dave Peterson, Jon Peltier and Roger Govier, who have generously shared their time and expertise, since the early days of Contextures. You made the journey much more enjoyable!

Earliest Sample Files

Checking on the WayBack Machine website, the earliest archived pages for Contextures.com were from 2002. There were only 4 sample files back then, and you can still download them on the current Excel Sample Files page.

  • PT0001 – Employee Time Tracking — record hours worked; Pivot Table report and chart
  • DV0001 – Assign Employees — ensure that each employee is only assigned once per day
  • FN0002 – Date Calculation — enter today’s date; create list of upcoming Wednesdays/Saturdays
  • FN0001 – Daily Walking Record— enter steps walked each day; set thresholds, keep track of days thresholds reached


How Old Are Those Files?

If you download one of those files, and look at it in Windows Explorer, it will show a 2014 date as the Date Created. That was the last time that I modified the file, and uploaded it to the server.


However, that file is much older than that! To see the real date that it was created, open the file in Excel. Then, click the File tab on the Ribbon, and click the Info category. At the right, you can see the file dates and other information.

For example, the WalkTrack.xls file was created on July 14, 2001 — at 6:09 AM! Yeesh! Why was I working in Excel at that time of day?


Sort the List By Date Created

That made me wonder which sample file is the oldest. And what is a quick way to find out? I didn’t want to open each file to check it, and the Create Date in Windows Explorer shows the wrong date.

To see if there were other options available, I right-clicked on the column headings in Windows Explorer, and click the More… command, at the bottom of the Field List.

In the Choose Details window, I scrolled through the list, and found a Content Created field. That looked promising, so I checked it.


That showed much older dates for the sample files, so I sorted by that column, in Ascending order. At the top of the list is the AssignEmp.xls file, that I created in October 1996, for one of my Excel training sessions.

What’s the oldest Excel file that you’re still using? Anything from the previous century?


The second oldest is M3U_Creator.xls, from November 1999. That’s one of Dave Peterson’s sample files, and you can still download it.

  • UF0005 – Music Playlist Creator — Click a button, and the code in this file creates a playlist of music from a selected folder, and places it on your desktop for easy access.

Create Your Own File List

If Excel can create a music playlist, surely it can create a file list with properties, including Content Created date.

It took a bit of experimenting, but I’ve created a new sample file that you can download. Enter the file path for your folder, then, click one of the buttons to:

  • list all the properties for all files in that folder, or
  • create a list of property numbers and names, and show one or two samples from your folder.

The lists can take a long time to run, and I’ll eventually work on the code, to see how it can be improved.


To get the file, go to the Contextures Excel Sample Files page, and in the UserForms, VBA, Add-Ins section, look for UF0030 – List All Files and Properties. The zipped file is in xlsm format, and contains macros.


15 Years of Excel Tips – How Old Are Your Files? http://blog.contextures.com/