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Use Excel to calculate the number of working days you have to complete your projects

When you're trying to determine how many days you have left before reaching a project deadline, try this handy Excel technique.

You don't need to count out days on a calendar to find out how many days you have to complete a project. Excel's NETWORKDAYS function can calculate it for you — without requiring you to work weekends or holidays.

To set up a worksheet that will calculate the number of working days excluding weekends and holidays from a project's start date to its due date, follow these steps:

  1. Enter the headings for Project, Start Date, End Date, and Work Days as shown.
  2. Select B2:C2.
  3. Press Shift+ Ctrl + Down Arrow.
  4. Right-click the selection and choose Format Cells.
  5. Select Date under Category and 3/14/01 under Type.
  6. Click OK.

  1. Select J2.
  2. Press Shift+ Ctrl + Down Arrow.
  3. Right-click the selection and choose Format cells.
  4. Select Date under Category and 14-Mar-01 under Type.
  5. Click OK.
  6. Complete the Holiday Table as shown.
  7. Select J2:J9.
  8. Click in the Name box and enter Holidays_2008.

  1. Click D2 and enter the following formula:

=NETWORKDAYS(B2,C2,Holidays_2008)

  1. Copy the formula in D2 to the D3:D4 to obtain the number of Workdays for Projects B and C.


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