Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, and 2013. 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 June 28, 2017)

2

Joe wonders how to return the date of the previous work day, 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, and 2013. 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

Flipping a Drawing Object

Don't like the way a drawing object looks? Perhaps flipping the object could help appearances. Excel allows you to flip ...

Discover More

Removing All Macros

Macros are stored as part of a workbook so that they are always available when you have the workbook open. If you want to get ...

Discover More

An Exact Number of Lines Per Page

For some purposes, you may need to fit an exact number of lines on a printed page. This may be easier said than done, as it ...

Discover More

Excel Smarts for Beginners! Featuring the friendly and trusted For Dummies style, this popular guide shows beginners how to get up and running with Excel while also helping more experienced users get comfortable with the newest features. Check out Excel 2013 For Dummies today!

More ExcelTips (ribbon)

Converting Coded Dates into Real Dates

Sometimes the format in which you receive data is not the same format that would be optimal for Excel. For instance, you ...

Discover More

Date for Next Wednesday

When working with dates, it is often helpful to be able to calculate some date in the future based on a starting date. ...

Discover More

Backwards Date Parsing

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

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 less than 9?

2017-06-28 11:26:04

Shandor

Thanks Allen! It's always great to learn about Excel's functions, which are the key to the future: functions, functions, functions--then smart automation to do the rest while we sip Coronas on the beach.


2016-06-01 08:48:48

JeteMc

Thank You for the tip.


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.