Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016. 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 Business Days.

Calculating Business Days

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated May 5, 2017)

In performing calculations with Excel, it is often helpful to know how many days there are between two dates. Excel makes this easy—you just subtract the earlier date from the latter.

In a business environment, however, you may not want to know just the number of days—you probably want to know the number of business days between two dates. In other words, how many workdays are there between two dates?

Believe it or not, Excel makes it almost as easy to calculate business days as it is to calculate regular days. All you need to do is use the NETWORKDAYS worksheet function. Let's suppose for a moment that you had two dates: one in A3 and the other in A4. The date in A3 is your starting date and the date in A4 is the ending date. To calculate the work days between the two dates, you could use the following formula:

=NETWORKDAYS(A3,A4)

This returns a count of all the days between the two dates, not counting weekends. You should note that the function returns the number of full days. Thus, if your starting date was Sept. 4 and your ending date was Sept. 5, the function would return a value of 2. (Provided neither day was a weekend day.)

If you want to account for holidays, the easiest way is to enter your standard holidays in a range of cells, and then define a name for that range. (I always like the terribly obvious name of “Holidays.”) You can then alter the NETWORKDAYS formula in this manner:

=NETWORKDAYS(A3,A4,Holidays)

Microsoft also introduced an expanded version of the NETWORKDAYS function in Excel 2010, but it has a different function name: NETWORKDAYS.INTL. The biggest difference between NETWORKDAYS.INTL and NETWORKDAYS is that NETWORKDAYS.INTL allows you to specify how the function should handle weekends. This new parameter goes right after the ending date parameter. So, for instance, if you wanted to know the number of work business days between the dates in A3 and A4 and you wanted to take holidays into account, you would use something like the following:

=NETWORKDAYS.INTL(A3,A4,1,Holidays)

Note the addition of the "1" parameter in the third parameter position. The value you use here can be any of 14 values:

Number Weekend Days
1 Saturday, Sunday
2 Sunday, Monday
3 Monday, Tuesday
4 Tuesday, Wednesday
5 Wednesday, Thursday
6 Thursday, Friday
7 Friday, Saturday
11 Sunday
12 Monday
13 Tuesday
14 Wednesday
15 Thursday
16 Friday
17 Saturday

If that isn't flexible enough for you, NETWORKDAYS.INTL allows you to use a string for the third parameter that exactly specifies which days should be considered workdays and weekend days. So, for instance, let's say that your company uses a four-day workweek, Monday through Thursday. In this case, you could use a formula such as the following:

=NETWORKDAYS.INTL(A3,A4,"0000111",Holidays)

Note that the string in the third parameter position is exactly 7 digits long and represents the days of the week, Monday through Sunday. A 0 indicates that day is a workday and a 1 indicates it is a "weekend" day that should not be used in calculations.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (12401) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Calculating Business Days.

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

Place a drawing object in your document, and it doesn't have to stay that way. You can flip a drawing object in either of ...

Discover More

Getting Rid of the "Enable Macros" Notice

Do you get tired of the dialog box that says "do you want to enable macros" that is displayed when you open a workbook. ...

Discover More

Conditional Processing During a Mail Merge

The Mail Merge capabilities built into Word can appear limited at first glance. One thing that is often overlooked (and ...

Discover More

Program Successfully in Excel! John Walkenbach's name is synonymous with excellence in deciphering complex technical topics. With this comprehensive guide, "Mr. Spreadsheet" shows how to maximize your Excel experience using professional spreadsheet application development tips from his own personal bookshelf. Check out Excel 2013 Power Programming with VBA today!

More ExcelTips (ribbon)

Calculating Averages by Date

When you have a huge amount of daily data to analyze, you may want to calculate an average of values for any given date ...

Discover More

Converting Time Notation to Decimal Notation

Want to convert an elapsed time, such as 8:37, to a decimal time, such as 8.62? If you know how Excel stores times ...

Discover More

Inserting Tomorrow's Date

You can use a couple of different worksheet functions to enter today's date in a cell. What if you want to calculate ...

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 five more than 8?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


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.