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

Page Layout Zoom Settings

The zoom setting at which you view a document can sometimes be saved with a document. This tip explains how the zoom ...

Discover More

Differing Column Widths when Pasting

When you move information from one table to another, you may be faced with the problem of making that information fit ...

Discover More

Printing a Macro List

Need a list of all the macros you've created? Word doesn't provide a way to create such a list, but you can use the ...

Discover More

Professional Development Guidance! Four world-class developers offer start-to-finish guidance for building powerful, robust, and secure applications with Excel. The authors show how to consistently make the right design decisions and make the most of Excel's powerful features. Check out Professional Excel Development today!

More ExcelTips (ribbon)

Converting an Unsupported Date Format

Excel makes it easy to import information created in other programs. Converting the imported data into something you can ...

Discover More

Backwards Date Parsing

Enter information into a worksheet, and you come to anticipate (and count on) how Excel will interpret that information ...

Discover More

Leap Years and Fiscal Periods

Need to figure out when a fiscal year ends when that period does not correspond to the calendar year? Here are some 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 four more than 3?

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.