My work buddy Jurre is drastically changing his career path for the better by relocating to Ireland this week. To help him keep track of the time he has left in his current job I made him a countdown clock in Excel. It shows the number of days, hours, minutes and seconds left both in separate cells of a sheet and in the titlebar of the Excel window. It demonstrates the use of the scarcely documented Excel function DATEDIF and the Application.OnTime method to update the clock at one second intervals. The workbook you can download here counts down to the new year 2010, but you can easily change the date and time it counts down to.

Aswin van Woudenberg

I'm a lecturer at the NHL Stenden University of Applied Sciences where I teach Artificial Intelligence, Algorithms and Concurrent Programming. Together with my students I'm building dialogue systems that can learn, reason and converse in a variety of domains.


Jurre · January 12, 2009 at 7:23 pm

kewl =)

Pia · October 25, 2009 at 10:44 am

I’ve been searching for a countdown clock just like this one all over internet! So happy I found this here!Thank you! But one question, is it possible to insert it in a Powerpointpresentation? Tried it but I can’t get it to work. Serching for tutorials too but no luck. do you have a solution?
Big thanks again for sharing!

Aswin · October 25, 2009 at 6:27 pm

Hi Pia,
Thanks for the feedback 🙂 I’m afraid I haven’t got an easy solution to your problem. I also tried to embed the countdown Excel workbook into a Powerpoint presentation, but didn’t succeed. Although one can easily insert Excel worksheets into a presentation slide, it seems that only a static view of the data in the Excel sheet is shown. In other words, the countdown clock doesn’t update itself.

Pia · October 26, 2009 at 7:20 pm

Hi Aswin,

Thanks for your quick reply. I solved my problem with a flash countdownclock, made one from this tutorial:

and found this little nice add-in for Powerpoint that makes it very easy to insert flash .swf files into Powerpoint:

So, if you’re into Flash maybe this is something for you too.
But I will save your nice excelclock, it will come inhandy in the future! 🙂
Kind regards

David Morrow · March 22, 2010 at 10:44 pm

I can I make this work in reverse?

David Morrow · March 22, 2010 at 10:51 pm

How can you make this work in reverse

Aswin · March 23, 2010 at 9:46 am

Hi David,

I’m not entirely sure what you mean by “make this work in reverse”, but I assume you want the excel sheet to show the time that has passed since a certain date.

If this is what you want, then the answer is very simple. You have to swap the contents of the cells B1 and B2, so that B1 contains the function =NOW() and B2 contains the date (in the past). You’d have to unhide row 2 first.

Hope this helps.

David · March 23, 2010 at 3:46 pm

I am attempting to count the days, hours, min, sec’s from and event that occurred at work. A “Count Up” clock per say, thank you.

David Reeves-Brown · April 4, 2010 at 6:24 pm

I would appreciate your help if possible. Is there a way for me to include a countdown timer for each new row (or every other row) in an excel spreadsheet? My purpose is to create a “flight log” for my R/C Helicopters and batteries. What I would like to do is simply hit a start “button” of some sort then have the spread sheet start with the current date and time then count down from a certain period (depends on the battery)like 5 minuets, give me an alarm, then stop when I hit the “button” and finally, log the time in minuets that were actually flown?

Any help is greatly appreciated!


Nigel · April 11, 2010 at 6:06 pm

Love it!! One (hopefully small) ammendment I coulkd do with.
Would like instead of the countdown in Days – hours- etc.

Weeks – Days – etc

Is this possible?

Gary Morgan · May 14, 2010 at 3:11 pm

Thank you so much for making this available. I am using it to track how much time until our VBS starts! It works awesome!!

Alex · August 5, 2011 at 12:26 am

This works great, but if the end date hasn’t been reached i excel loops and reopens. What do i need to add to the marco to stop the looping?

cyrilbrd · August 10, 2012 at 6:55 am

this looks very classy (looks like a widget).
Does not work on excel 2011 for Mac, Compile error can’t assign to read-only property for module containing “Public Sub OnTimerFunc()”…
Any clue?

Aswin · August 10, 2012 at 9:36 am

Hi Cyrilbrd,
I don’t know why this doesn’t work on a Mac. I know there are some differences between the Excel object model for Windows and the one for Mac, but I don’t know which difference is causing the compile error. I don’t own a Mac otherwise I could test this code myself.

Chuck · January 12, 2018 at 6:06 pm

Hi Aswin,
I’m pretty new to this and was wondering if it was possible to change your countdown calendar to reflect networkdays formula into this timer instead of DATEDIF and have the timer still countdown.

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