Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, and 2013. 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: Numbers in Base 12.

Numbers in Base 12

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated September 8, 2021)

5

For some professions or hobbies, it may be required to display information in "base 12." For instance, you may need to display the number of dozens of an item, followed by the number of singles of an item. If you had 15 items, for instance, you may want your display to be 1:03.

There are a couple of different ways to approach this problem. The first is to do the math and put together a string that represents the finished numbers. For instance, suppose the original number is in cell B7. In cell C9 you could place the following:

=INT(B7/12) & ":" & RIGHT("00" & MOD(B7,12),2)

In this instance, if B7 contained the number 345, C9 would contain the string 28:09. If you would rather work with straight numbers, you can use the following formula in cell C9:

=INT(B7/12)*100+MOD(B7,12)

In this case, cell C9 would contain 2809, which could be easily displayed in the final format by setting the custom number format for the cell as 0":"00.

Regardless of which approach you choose, you should know that you won't be able to use the results in any mathematical functions. The information displayed is done so solely for that purpose—display.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (9666) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, and 2013. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Numbers in Base 12.

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. ...

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What is 9 + 5?

2021-09-09 06:13:57

Peter Atherton

The only thing that 12 is used these days is for selling eggs, building now seem to be metric. Given that you would want to split up the egg production into 1 dozen and ½ dozen boxes, here are a couple of scenarios.

(see Figure 1 below)

Figure 1. 


2021-09-08 05:41:55

WarwickW

I would have thought that the example numbers would have ben expressed a 1.3 and 1.9 respetively, in accordance with normal place notation. not 1.03 and 1.09.


2014-02-05 09:57:44

Richard

I think Dan and Jim were fooled by your use of the term Base 12. Your solution may be appropriate for a representation of 'dozens' and 'units', since it is quite acceptable to display 'dozens' > 11, whereas in Base-12 arithmetic a further division is necessary toi produce a 'dozen-squared' value.
Perhaps the article should have been titled "Numbers in Dozens".


2014-01-27 15:02:59

Dan Dodge

Clearer would be to say that in Base12 it should be 249 because:
2*(12^2) + 4*(12^1) + 9*(12^0) =
3*(10^2) + 4*(10^1) + 5*(10^0)
I agree - a macro is needed with a symbol (such as A, B) substituted for the Base12 equivalent of Base10 values 10 and 11.


2014-01-27 02:49:21

Jim Watts

You haven't displayed the number in base 12 - it should be 249, because

345 =(((2*12)+4)*12)+9

The best solution is to use a macro to build a string to represent the Base-12 number, bearing in mind that you will need to decide on a format for displaying digits that represent 10 and 11 - usually A and B.


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