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. ...

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What is five minus 0?

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.


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