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Highlight dates that are weekends

There are times when we want to highlight only those dates that are weekends in excel. To do this, we can use a formula that is based on WEEKDAY function. This post provides a guide on how to use the WEEKDAY function to highlight dates that are weekends.

Figure 1. Final result

General syntax of the formula


Understanding the formula

When we have specific activities set for the weekends, and we want to highlight them so that we can remember, we can utilize a formula that is based on the OR and WEEKDAY functions. The above formula will help us highlight weekends, i.e. Saturday and Sunday.

In our example above, we have the dates in column B, i.e. B2:B14. To get the dates that are weekends, we have use the formula below;


How the formula works

The formula utilizes the WEEKDAY function to check whether supplied dates are Saturdays and Sundays.

  • The WEEKDAY function returns a number, 1-7 for each of the dates supplied.
  • Usually, the function assigns Saturday a 7, while Sunday a 1.
  • The OR function will then test a 1 or 7.
  • If either of 1 or 7 is true among the dates, then our formula returns TRUE. If none is true, the formula returns a FALSE.

How to highlight the weekend dates rows

For you to highlight the weekend dates, you will have to use conditional formatting rule to all the columns in the table, and lock the date column.


Figure 2. Example

In this example, we want to highlight the weekends so that we can plan our activities for those days. To do this, we proceed as follows;

Step 1: Prepare the worksheet, including the activities, date for the activities, day and what to be returned by the formula.

Step 2: Apply conditional formatting to the date column (B), as we shall want the weekends to be highlighted in a different color.

Step 3: In cell D2, put the formula =OR(WEEKDAY($B2)=7, WEEKDAY($B2)=1)

Step 4: Press Enter to get either TRUE or FALSE.

Step 5: Copy down the formula to the other cells.

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