Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007 and 2010. 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: Calculating Future Workdays.

Calculating Future Workdays

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated February 2, 2015)


Using Excel to calculate a date in the future is rather easy. If you have a cell (such as C3) that contains a starting date, you can simply use a formula such as the following in a different cell:

=C3 + 3

If you format the cell with the formula as a date, it will be three days in the future.

When you want to calculate workdays, the task gets trickier. For instance, you only want to return a date that is between Monday and Friday. If the starting date was a Thursday, this means the return date should be Monday, even though Sunday is the real day that is three days hence.

One quick way to figure a date three workdays in the future is to use the CHOOSE worksheet function. For instance, let's say you have the issue date for a document, and you store that date in cell B5. If you want cell B6 to show a date three workdays later, then you would place the following formula in cell B6 and make sure it is formatted as a date:

=B5 + CHOOSE(WEEKDAY(B5), 3, 3, 3, 5, 5, 5, 4)

This formula assumes that workdays are Monday through Friday. You can tinker with it to pick a different five-day workweek, if desired.

If you also want your formula to take holidays into account, then you must get a bit more creative. For these instances you can use the WORKDAY function:


After you format the cell as a date, it will show the date three workdays in the future. To include holidays, the simplest way is to set up your holidays in the worksheet. For instance, you might put your company holidays in the worksheet in cells K4 through K10. Then, select the cells and give them a name, such as Holidays. You can now use your holiday rante in the WORKDAY function. Change the formula in cell B6 so it looks like this:


Now the function will always take your holidays into account when returning a date three workdays in the future.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (11415) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007 and 2010. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Calculating Future Workdays.

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 six more than 8?

2014-03-20 06:23:10

Michael (Micky) Avidan

To all "Excel 2010/2013" users - there is a new build-in function: WORKDAY.INTL which allows to EXCLUDE pair of weekdays OR(!) a single weekday.
As for the above task Check out:
Michael (Micky) Avidan
“Microsoft® Answers" - Wiki author & Forums Moderator
“Microsoft®” MVP – Excel (2009-2014)

2014-03-20 03:46:42


I have been searching for this for ages!! I even wrote a macro that uses NETWORKDAYS to achieve the same result. I knew there had to be something somewhere within Excel.

@Penny - did you ever get an explanation about the numbers in the formula? I can give you one if you wish (2 years since you asked the question!) Contact me by email if you like.

2012-03-06 16:33:22


Can you please explain all the numbers in the formula for calculating the 3 working days ahead, ie the 3,3,3,5,5,5,4

2012-03-05 01:09:16


this is a great tip! i could definitely use this!!! no more manual computation for due dates in case there are holidays! thanks :)

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