What are the Day Of The Week Functions In Excel?

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There are two types of functions associated with the day of the week in Excel. The first is concerned when you have a date (8/19/17, for example) and you want to know the day of the week (Saturday). We can achieve this result by customising the date format for the cell or another cell within the worksheet. Let our online Excel training show you how.

The second is the weekday function. Like the function mentioned above, it will also yield the day of the week based upon a date. The difference between the two is that the weekday function will return a numeric value that represents the day of the week. Using the weekday function, 8/19/17 would yield a result of 7, representing the 7th day of the week: Saturday.

How Can You Format The Day Of The Week In Excel?

Custom formatting can be used to show the day of the week in Excel. In this Excel training example, we want to show the day of the week that an order had shipped.

  1. In cell C2 enter =B2 to easily copy the ship date over into the new column, then proceed to copy down column C.
  2. Highlight the data in column C and right-click and select “format cells” from the menu.
  3. Go to “custom” in the category section.
  4. Enter the type of formatting you wish to display.
    1. For the full weekday name enter dddd = Sunday.
    2. For the abbreviated weekday name enter ddd = Sun.
  5. Click OK.

Now as displayed above, column C will have the day of the week that the order shipped.

How Can You Use The Weekday Function?

Although we don’t typically use the weekday function in our Excel classes, it is recommended when entering other formulas or embedding the weekday function within a formula. The function can be found under the date & time button in the formulas tab.

The formula or syntax for the weekday function is:


The serial number is a number assigned to the date in which you are trying to find the day of. This is critical for your understanding as we progress through this Excel tutorial. To manually enter a date and translate the date into a serial number, embed the date function.

Date is written as =DATE(year,month,day). When embedded into the weekday function it will appear as:

=WEEKDAY(DATE(year,month,day)) or =WEEKDAY(DATE(2017,8,19)) to find the day of the week for August 29, 2017.

If the date is listed within the worksheet or another worksheet you simply have to enter the cell number of the date as the serial number. Keeping with the example, =WEEKDAY(B2) would give the same calculated result of 7 as manually entering the date.

The return_type tells Excel what numerical value you would like placed on the days of the week. Basically, you choose the weekday that starts your week by choosing the return_type that places a 1 for that weekday. If you want your work week to start on Friday, you’d choose return_type 15.

Return_Type Codes:

Return_Type Codes:12311121314151617

To find the numerical value of the workday:

In this Excel course example, our week starts on Sunday, so we will omit the return_type and the date we are using is listed in column B

  1. In cell D2, enter the weekday function
  2. =WEEKDAY(B2)
  3. Hit enter and copy down column D

Tip: You can quickly change the formatting to the custom format as discussed above to display the day of the week (i.e. Saturday).

What If I Want To Embed Day Of The Week in an Excel Formula?

In the worksheet for this Excel class example, we are estimating the delivery date using the weekday function and an “if” function.

All 2-day shipping will be delivered 2 days after shipping and standard will be delivered 5 days after shipping.

  1. To figure standard shipping =WEEKDAY(WEEKDAY(B2)+5)
  2. To figure 2-day shipping =WEEKDAY(WEEKDAY(B2)+2)
  3. Now embed those two into an “if” function


  1. This statement literally reads, “if the shipping type is standard, add 5 days to the ship date and display as 1 to 7 with Sunday being 1. If not, add 2 days to the ship date and display as 1 to 7 with Sunday being 1.”

Note: Entering only one day of the week in Excel function into the formula may yield a result of higher than 7 but by embedding that function into another weekday function, Excel will change the calculated result back to a weekday numerical value. For example, in row 3, Saturday = 7 and standard = 5 so the result is 12. Embed that within another weekday function and when it hits 7, it counts from 1 again resulting in a 5.

Why Excel Training is so Important Regarding the Day of the Week Function

As you can see from what we detailed above in this segment of our Excel classes, understanding the day of the week function is critical in keeping track of numerous business functions in Excel. If you need or want to learn how to best organize your data via Excel spreadsheets, consider undergoing further Excel training!

2018-06-18T14:50:57+00:00 Excel Training|