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.
by Allen Wyatt
(last updated January 18, 2014)
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:
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:
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.
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!
In some industries it is necessary to work with time resolutions of less than a second. If you need to keep track of such ...Discover More
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 want? ...Discover More
Excel allows you to perform math using times as operands. If you subtract a later time from an earlier time, you should end ...Discover More
FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."
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.