Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Microsoft 365. If you are using an earlier version (Excel 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Excel, click here: Adjusting Times for Time Zones.

Adjusting Times for Time Zones

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated July 11, 2023)
This tip applies to Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Microsoft 365


David collects data from two locations, one on the East coast and the other on the West coast. After collecting the East coast times, he needs to adjust them for the time zone differences. He is wondering how to adjust the East coast times by three hours, so they represent West coast times.

How to adjust an East coast time by three hours to be consistent with West coast times depends on the nature of the times you are adjusting. In general, if the data is stored as an Excel date/time serial number, then the adjustment is easy. All you have to do is remember that in the serial number format, anything to the left of the decimal point is days and anything to the right of the decimal point is partial days (hours, minutes, and seconds).

Since an hour is 1/24 of each day, three hours would be 3/24, or 0.125. Simply subtract this value from the serial value stored in the worksheet, and you've adjusted the time for the difference in time zones. The actual formula is easy:

=A1-0.125

You have to be a bit careful in doing this sort of adjustment with your date/time serial numbers, however. If the values in the worksheet are simply time values (there is no date component to the left of the decimal point), then subtracting 0.125 from the time value can result in an erroneous result if the original time is anywhere between midnight and 3:00 am. The way around that is to make the formula just a bit more complex:

=IF(A1<0.125,A1+0.875,A1-0.125)

If the value in A1 is strictly a time value, between midnight and 3:00 am, the formula adds 21 hours (21/24 or 0.875) to the value, providing the expected result of an adjusted time between 9:00 pm and midnight.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (9309) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Microsoft 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Adjusting Times for Time Zones.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Paragraph Numbers in Headers or Footers

If your documents routinely use numbered paragraphs, you may want to place the number of the page's first paragraph in ...

Discover More

Retrieving Worksheet Names

Want to grab the names of all the worksheets in a workbook? Here's how you can stuff all those names into the cells of a ...

Discover More

Wrapping Text around a Graphic in a Text Box

Word allows you to wrap text around a graphic or around a text box, but it won't allow you to wrap text in a text box ...

Discover More

Professional Development Guidance! Four world-class developers offer start-to-finish guidance for building powerful, robust, and secure applications with Excel. The authors show how to consistently make the right design decisions and make the most of Excel's powerful features. Check out Professional Excel Development today!

More ExcelTips (ribbon)

Working with Elapsed Time

Work with times in a worksheet and you will eventually want to start working with elapsed times. Here's an explanation of ...

Discover More

Converting UTC Times to Local Times

Dates and times are often standardized on UTC time, which is analogous to GMT times. How to convert such times to your ...

Discover More

Combining and Formatting Times

Excel allows you to store times in your worksheets. If you have your times stored in one column and an AM/PM indicator in ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] (all 7 characters, in the sequence shown) in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is nine minus 5?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


This Site

Got a version of Excel that uses the ribbon interface (Excel 2007 or later)? This site is for you! If you use an earlier version of Excel, visit our ExcelTips site focusing on the menu interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.