Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Office 365. If you are using an earlier version (Excel 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Excel, click here: Finding the Previous Work Day.

Finding the Previous Work Day

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated September 1, 2018)

1

Joe wonders how to return the date of the previous workday, taking into account any holidays. He needs to be able to get this information on any particular date. This is rather easy; in fact, Excel has a function designed specifically for this purpose:

=WORKDAY(A1,-1,MyHolidays)

The WORKDAY function is used to determine dates for workdays, based upon adjustments that you specify. The first argument, A1, refers to the cell where the reference date is located. This information can be obtained in a couple of different ways. You can manually enter the date into cell A1 or you could use a formula in that cell to signify the date. For instance, you could use the following simple formula in cell A1 so that it always contains today's date:

=TODAY()

The second part of the formula, -1, says to subtract one day from the date in A1. The third part of the formula, MyHolidays, refers to a named range containing a list of dates and holidays you want skipped in determining the previous workday.

The WORKDAY function returns the date of day previous to the date entered in A1, allowing for any holidays.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (8106) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Office 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Finding the Previous Work Day.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Excluding a Specific Add-In at Startup

Got an add-in that you don't want loaded each time that Excel starts up? Here's a few ways that you can exclude it.

Discover More

Editing Wrap Points

If you have a graphic that has text wrapping around it, you might want a way to modify the wrapping path used by Word. ...

Discover More

Understanding Font Styles

Fonts, by default, come with one or more styles that define variations of how that font is displayed in your document. ...

Discover More

Solve Real Business Problems Master business modeling and analysis techniques with Excel and transform data into bottom-line results. This hands-on, scenario-focused guide shows you how to use the latest Excel tools to integrate data from multiple tables. Check out Microsoft Excel 2013 Data Analysis and Business Modeling today!

More ExcelTips (ribbon)

Elapsed Days as Years, Months and Days

Need to know how many days there are between two dates? It's easy to figure out—unless you need the figure in ...

Discover More

Unique Date Displays

Need to print an elapsed date in a strange format? It's easier to do than may appear at first glance. Here's a discussion ...

Discover More

Determining If a Year is a Leap Year

Need to figure out if a given year is a leap year? It's not as easy as you think! This tip provides a plethora of ways ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is two minus 1?

2018-09-03 09:28:08

David Robinson

A brief note that if you work in a culture where the weekend isn't Saturday and Sunday, use the WORKDAY.INTL function instead, which has weekend specification options.


This Site

Got a version of Excel that uses the ribbon interface (Excel 2007 or later)? This site is for you! If you use an earlier version of Excel, visit our ExcelTips site focusing on the menu interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.