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)

4

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:

=WORKDAY(B5,3)

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:

=WORKDAY(B5,3,Holidays)

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. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Understanding Custom Chart Templates

Excel allows you to create custom chart formats that go beyond the standard formats provided in the program. These custom ...

Discover More

Searching for Text Not Using a Certain Style

Word is very flexible in what it allows you to search for. One thing it can't do, however, is allow you to search for ...

Discover More

Understanding Subroutines

The heart of creating powerful programs in VBA is to understand how to create subroutines. These structures allow you to ...

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)

Converting European Dates to US Dates

Those in Europe use a date format that is different than those in the US; this is not news. But what if you need to ...

Discover More

Determining If a Date is between Other Dates

Need to figure out if one date is between two other dates? There are a wide variety of formulaic approaches you could use ...

Discover More

Calculating Weekend Dates

Do you look forward to the weekend? Well, you can use Excel to let you know when the next weekend begins. Here's how you ...

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 8 + 2?

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:
=WORKDAY.INTL(B5,3)
Michael (Micky) Avidan
“Microsoft® Answers" - Wiki author & Forums Moderator
“Microsoft®” MVP – Excel (2009-2014)
ISRAEL


2014-03-20 03:46:42

Dave

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

Penny

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

rachel

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


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.