Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Excel 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Excel, click here: Finding the Previous Work Day.

Finding the Previous Work Day

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated November 20, 2021)

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 for any particular date.

Excel has a number of functions and formulas that help automate obtaining routine information. The Analysis ToolPak add-on contains formulas that can help with these automations. One is the WORKDAY function.

Assuming you have the Analysis ToolPak enabled (how you do so has been covered in other issues of ExcelTips), you can obtain the date information you need by using the following formula:

=WORKDAY(A1,-1,MyHolidays)

The first part of this formula, 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 (8104) applies to Microsoft Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Excel (Excel 2007 and later) 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

Printing via Macro without Messages

When you are printing a document, it is not unusual to see messages (dialog boxes) periodically. When you want the ...

Discover More

Understanding Grayscale Images

Word allows you to easily add images to your documents. For documents intended for monochrome printers, grayscale images ...

Discover More

Controlling Chart Gridlines

Gridlines are often added to charts to help improve the readability of the chart itself. Here's how you can control ...

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 (menu)

Tombstone Date Math

Doing math with dates is easy in Excel. Doing math with old datesâ€"such as those you routinely encounter in ...

Discover More

Inserting the Current Time with Seconds

If you need to insert the current time, with seconds, then you'll need the macro discussed in this tip. It's easy to use ...

Discover More

Setting a Default Date Format

Enter a date into a cell, and Excel allows you to format that date in a variety of ways. Don't see the date format 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}] (all 7 characters, in the sequence shown) 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 nine minus 1?

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 menu interface (Excel 97, Excel 2000, Excel 2002, or Excel 2003)? This site is for you! If you use a later version of Excel, visit our ExcelTips site focusing on the ribbon 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.