Formatting Time in Excel

How to Format Time in Excel? (Step by Step)

As we can apply the time format for any decimal or fractional value.

Example 1.5

Now let’s learn how to apply time format in excel for 0.25 value.

  1. Select the cell, right-click, and choose FORMAT Cell excel.

    Formatting Time in Excel Example 1.6

  2. Now, we can see below the “Format Cells” window. From there, choose the TIME category.

    Formatting Time in Excel Example 1.8

  3. Now, we can see all the time types available for this value as per the location setting.

    Formatting Time in Excel Example 1.9

  4. We can actually see the preview of the selected cell time format. Choose any of the ones to see a similar time in the cell.

    Formatting Time in Excel Example 1.10

  5. By using the TIME format category, we can also use the “Custom” category as well to modify the time format.

    Formatting Time in Excel Example 1.11

  6. I have applied the formatting code as “hh:mm: ss,” so my time shows the preview as 06:00:00. This time format code will show the time in 24-hour format, so if you don’t want to see the 24-hour time format, then enter AM / PM separator.

    Formatting Time in Excel Example 1.12

So, this will differentiate the AM and PM times.

Understanding the Time Format Code

As we have learned above, excel time format code is hh:mm:ss. Let me explain this code in detail now.

  • hh: This time code represents the hour part of the time in double-digit value. For example, in the above example, our time value showed as 06; if you mention a single “h,” then the hour part will be only 6, not 06.
  • mm: This code represents minute part of the time in double-digit value.
  • ss: This will represent the second part of the time.

If you don’t want to see the “seconds” part from the time, then apply only the “time and minute” part of the code.

Example 1.13

We can also customize the time. For example, 0.689 is equal to the time of 04:32:10 PM.

Formatting Time in Excel Example 1.14

Instead of showing like the below, we can modify it as “04 Hours, 32 Minutes, 10 Seconds”.

Example 1.15

We get the following result.

Formatting Time in Excel Example 1.16

For this, we enter the below custom time code.

hh “hours”, mm “Minutes”, ss “Seconds” AM/PM

So this will display the time as we have shown above.

Different Formatting Technique for More than 24 Hours’ Time

Working with time could be tricky if you don’t know the full formatting technique of time because if you want to enter the time more than 24 hours, we need to employ different formatting code.

For example, Mr. A was a sales manager, and below are his call records for the past 5 days.

Example 2

Now he wants to calculate his total call duration of the week.

Example 2.5.0

So let’s sum all the days’ in time format of cell B7.

 Example 2.6

OMG!!! We got the total as 03:20:10, which is absolutely wrong.

This is a real-time experience of my own. By looking at the data, we can easily say the total duration is more than 03:20:10, so what is the issue with it???

The issue is when the summation or time value exceeds 24 hours, we need to give slightly different time formatting codes.

For example, let us select the call duration time and see the status bar to see the sum of the selected values.

Formatting Time in Excel Example 2.7

So, the total in the status bar is 27:20:10, but our SUM function has returned 03:20:10.

To understand this better, copy the result cell and paste special as values in another cell.

 Example 2.8

We get the value as 1.13900463. i.e., 1 Day, 20 minutes 10 seconds.

As I told, the time value is stored as serial numbers from 0 to 0.9999; since this total is crossing the fraction mark, we are getting this error sum.

So for this, we need to apply the time formatting code as “[hh]:mm:ss.”

Formatting Time in Excel Example 2.3

We get the following result.

Example 2.4

Same formula we just have changed the time format to [hh]:mm:ss.

Things to Remember

  • Time is stored as decimal values in excel.
  • The date and Time are combined in excel.
  • When the time value exceeds 24 hours, then we need to enclose the time format code of the hour part inside the parenthesis. i.e. “[hh]:mm:ss”.

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