How to Use Networkdays Function in Excel (Step-By-Step)

November 10, 2023 721 views

Exploring the complex scene of Excel functions, the Networkdays function appears as a crucial tool in order to calculate workdays between two different dates, considering holidays and weekends. Among the challenges of project planning and resource allocation, the need to accurately estimate working days has grown vital. The Networkdays function in Excel is providing an elegant solution to this problem, in order to help professionals to optimise schedules and manage deadlines proficiently. However, the requirement of this clear guide has become necessary, as this function includes difficult date calculations and holiday considerations. Therefore, to be proficient in Excel, the query arises: How can one learn the full potential of the Networkdays function? This complete guide offers step-by-step instructions, ensuring that you not only understand this concept but also apply it effectively.

1 What is NETWORKDAYS Function in Excel?

The NETWORKDAYS function in Excel is a dominant tool that is designed to calculate the total number of working days between two identified dates, taking into account weekends and optionally specified holidays. This function is mainly appreciated for multiple purposes like for project planning, resource allocation, and deadline tracing. The basic syntax for this function is as under:

=NETWORKDAYS(start_date, end_date, [holidays])

Here, detail of arguments is as follows:

  • Start_date refers to the starting date of the period.

  • End_date shows the end date of the period.

  • [Holidays] (Optional term) states the range or group of dates that are supposed to be holidays.

This function gives you an estimate of the working days between your specified dates, other than weekends (Saturdays and Sundays) and any dates that are supposed to be holidays. The result of the function is a count of all working days.


Let suppose, we have a project deadline within the date of January 1, 2024, and an end date of January 10, 2024. To calculate the total number of working days within this retro, we can use the formula as under:

=NETWORKDAYS("2024-01-01", "2024-01-10")

According to this formula, let’s suppose the weekends are Saturday and Sunday. So, the result will be 8, as there are 8 working days between these dates.

Moreover, this function can also include a list of holidays. For example, if there were a holiday on January 8, 2024, the formula would be as under:

=NETWORKDAYS("2024-01-01", "2024-01-10", {"2024-01-08"})

The function would now account for the holiday 2024-01-08 and produce the result of 7 working days.

2 What is NETWORKDAYS Function in Excel?

The NETWORKDAYS function in Excel is massively helpful for handling basic and advanced date calculations. Here are the step by step instructions, along with some advanced tips to increase your date-related tasks effectively.

Step 1.       Basic syntax

The basic syntax of this function is as under:

=NETWORKDAYS(start_date, end_date, [holidays])

Step 2.       Calculating workdays

To begin, enter your start date and end date in the formula. For instance, to calculate the number of workdays between January 1, 2024, and January 10, 2024, use the following formula:

=NETWORKDAYS("2024-01-01", "2024-01-10")

Formula applied to extrect work days

Step 3.       Accounting for holidays

If you want to exclude specific holidays from your calculation, provide a list of holiday dates within curly braces. For example:

=NETWORKDAYS("2024-01-01", "2024-01-10", {"2024-01-08"})

Formual applied to accout Holidays

Advanced tips

1. Working with date ranges and intervals:

This function is not just limited to single days. You can use cell references of excel, instead of directly entering dates. Here is the example:


Working with date ranges and intervals

2. Excluding specific days:

Sometimes it is required to exclude days other than weekends and normal holidays, like particular weekdays. For this purpose, we can use a combination of NETWORKDAYS with other functions such as IF and WEEKDAY functions.

Excluding specific days

3. Combining NETWORKDAYS with other Excel functions:

NETWORKDAYS can also work flawlessly with other Excel functions in order to create powerful calculations. For example, you can use NETWORKDAYS to define lead times for projects or expect the delivery dates.

Combining NETWORKDAYS with other Excel functions

3 How to Customise Excel NETWORKDAYS Function

Using the custom NETWORKDAYS function in Excel lets you fine-tune your date calculations to fit particular scenarios. Below is how you can adapt its usage according to your requirements:

1.     Including custom holidays

If you want to include your own holidays in the calculation of NETWORKDAYS formula, you can provide a list of holiday dates (separated by a comma), within the third argument of the formula.


=NETWORKDAYS(start_date, end_date, {"2024-07-01" , "2024-07-25"})

This will exclude the dates of “July 1, 2024” and “July 25, 2024” from the total work days count.

Including custom holidays

2.     Handling different workday conventions

In different areas, weekends might not fall on the same days, like Friday and Saturday. You can set this scenario by using the WEEKDAY function to recognize weekends and then subtracting those days from the NETWORKDAYS result.


=NETWORKDAYS(start_date, end_date) - SUMPRODUCT(--(WEEKDAY(ROW(INDIRECT(start_date & ":" & end_date)),2)>=6))

This formula estimates the total workdays while supposing Friday and Saturday as weekends.

Handling different workday conventions

3.     Calculating partial workdays

If you need to calculate partial workdays (like, when supposing half-days), you can apply NETWORKDAYS in association with TIME to factor in the half-days.


=NETWORKDAYS(start_date, end_date) + IF(AND(ISNUMBER(start_date), ISNUMBER(end_date)),

TIME(HOUR(start_date), MINUTE(start_date), SECOND(start_date)), 0)

- IF(AND(ISNUMBER(start_date), ISNUMBER(end_date)),

TIME(HOUR(end_date), MINUTE(end_date), SECOND(end_date)), 0)

This estimates the variance in partial workdays between the start and end times.

Calculating partial workdays In the image

4 NETWORKDAYS in Data Analysis

Applying the NETWORKDAYS function while analysing data can offer valued understandings about time-based trends and help in numerous traits of data explanation. Below is the points on how NETWORKDAYS can enhance your data analysis skills:

1.     Analysing time-based trends

NETWORKDAYS can help you recognize trends by analysing work days within the specific ranges of date. For example, you can determine the total number of workdays in each month or quarter over a specific period. By relating these values, you can spot arrangements, like months with higher or lower work action, and make knowledgeable decisions based on these tendencies.

Analysing time-based trends

2.     Date calculations for data filtering and segmentation

While filtering or segmenting data based on specific timeframes, the NETWORKDAYS feature can help in this regard. For example, you could filter sales data to display performance during specific workdays or exclude weekends in order to focus on business-related actions. This level of granularity in data analysis empowers you to conclude more accurately and make targeted recommendations.

Date calculations for data filtering and segmentation

3.     Forecasting based on historical date patterns

By learning historical data patterns using NETWORKDAYS, everyone can make informed forecasts of a specific task. For instance, you can calculate the average number of workdays needed to complete deals in the past. Moreover, you can apply this to future scenarios in order to get an estimate when new deals might close. This approach boosts the correctness of your forecasts by considering workdays and excluding weekends.

Forecasting based on historical date patterns

5 Tips for Using NETWORKDAYS Function in Excel

Here are some effective tips of working with the NETWORKDAYS function to enhance work efficiency:

1.     Use keyboard shortcut keys to accelerate your date calculations. For example, by pressing Ctrl + ; will insert the present date, and Ctrl + Shift + ; will insert the present time. So, by combining these columns with NETWORKDAYS, everyone can speedily calculate the workdays between two dates rather than manually entering them.

Use keyboard shortcut keys to accelerate your date calculations. For example, by pressing Ctrl + ; will insert the present date, and Ctrl + Shift + ; will insert the present time.

2.     While dealing with large datasets, the "Filling Handle" can be a timesaving feature. This will extend the formula to adjacent cells. Excel automatically adjusts Excel’s cell references in order to allow you to calculate workdays for different date ranges quickly.

While dealing with large datasets, the

3.     For larger datasets, consider using Excel's "Calculate Now" shortcut (F9) to calculate formulas again. It is mainly helpful when you have made modifications that affect the NETWORKDAYS calculations.

By using these tips in your Excel work, you will rationalise your NETWORKDAYS-related jobs and increase your overall efficiency.

For larger datasets, consider using Excel's

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7 FAQs about NETWORKDAYS Excel

Q.1 FAQs about NETWORKDAYS Excel

The NETWORKDAYS function in Excel is a date and time function used to calculate the number of working days (excluding weekends and specified holidays) between two given dates. It helps you determine the number of business days for project planning, leave calculations, and more. To use the NETWORKDAYS function, you need to provide the start date, end date, and an optional range containing holiday dates. The function considers weekdays as Monday to Friday by default.

Q.2 Can I customise the list of holidays used in the NETWORKDAYS function in Excel?

Yes, you can customise the list of holidays to be considered in the NETWORKDAYS function. Instead of using the default list of holidays, you can create a range of specific holiday dates in a separate Excel sheet and use that range as an input argument in the NETWORKDAYS function. This way, the function will exclude these specified holidays from the calculation of working days.

Q.3 Is there an Excel function similar to NETWORKDAYS that includes customizable weekend days?

Yes, Excel offers a more flexible version of the NETWORKDAYS function that is known as NETWORKDAYS.INTL. By using NETWORKDAYS.INTL function, you can customise which days of the week are supposed to be weekends. For example, you consider the weekend days are Friday and Sunday, or any other combination that matches your particular work. This function also allows you to include custom holidays, providing greater control over the calculation of working days.

1.8 Summary

In conclusion, learning the NETWORKDAYS function in Excel provides a valued skill set that enables professionals to modernise project arrangement, data analysis, and many more by exactly calculating workdays between different dates. This comprehensive guide provided a deep understanding of the things including syntax, customization options, and advanced features. As we explore the world of calculating dates, it is important to have the right tools. The reason why WPS Office shines is the complete office suite that includes a powerful Office, Excel worksheet, PowerPoint as an alternative. With its multiple features like a rich template, multiple functions in excel, and the ability to learn advanced use, WPS Office ensures the efficiency and learning of more skill in your work-related tasks.

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