Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Excel in Microsoft 365, and 2021. 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: Converting Numeric Values to Times.

Converting Numeric Values to Times

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated December 24, 2022)
This tip applies to Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Excel in Microsoft 365, and 2021


Sam has a lot of worksheets that contain times. The problem is that the times are in the format "1300" instead of the format "13:00." Thus, Excel sees them as regular numeric values instead of recognizing them as times. Sam wants them to be converted to actual time values.

There are several ways you can approach this task. One way is to use the TIME function to convert the value to a time, as shown here:

=TIME(LEFT(A1,2),RIGHT(A1,2),)

This formula assumes that the time in cell A1 will always contain four digits. If it does not (for instance, it might be 427 instead of 0427), then the formula needs to be modified slightly:

=TIME(LEFT(A1,LEN(A1)-2),RIGHT(A1,2),)

The formula basically pulls the leftmost digit (or digits) and uses them for the hours argument of the TIME function, and then uses the two rightmost digits for the minutes argument. TIME returns an actual time value, formatted as such in the cell.

A similar formulaic approach can be taken using the TIMEVALUE function:

=TIMEVALUE(REPLACE(A1,LEN(A1)-1,0,":"))

This formula uses REPLACE to insert a colon in the proper place, and then TIMEVALUE converts the result into a time value. You will need to format the resulting cell so that it displays the time as you want.

Another variation on the formulaic approach is to use the TEXT function, in this manner:

=--TEXT(A1,"00\:00")

This returns an actual time value, which you will then need to format properly to be displayed as a time.

Another approach is to simply do the math on the original time to convert it to a time value used by Excel. This is easy once you realize that time values are nothing more than a fractional part of a day. Thus, a time value is a number between 0 and 1, derived by dividing the hours by 24 (the hours in a day) and the minutes by 1440 (the minutes in a day). Here is a formula that does that:

=INT(A1/100)/24+MOD(A1,100)/1440

This determines the hour portion of the original value, which is then divided by 24. The minute portion (the part left over from the original value) is then divided by 1440 and added to the first part. You can then format the result as a time, and it works perfectly.

All of the formulas described so far utilize a new column in order to do the conversions. This is handy, but you may want to actually convert the value in-place, without the need for a formula. This is where a macro can come in handy. The following macro will convert whatever cells you have selected into time values and format the cells appropriately:

Sub NumberToTime()
    Dim rCell As Range
    Dim iHours As Integer
    Dim iMins As Integer

    For Each rCell In Selection
        If IsNumeric(rCell.Value) And Len(rCell.Value) > 0 Then
            iHours = rCell.Value \ 100
            iMins = rCell.Value Mod 100
            rCell.Value = (iHours + iMins / 60) / 24
            rCell.NumberFormat = "h:mm AM/PM"
        End If
    Next
End Sub

The macro uses an integer division to determine the number of hours (iHours) and stuffs the remainder into iMins. This is then adjusted into a time value and placed back into the cell, which is then formatted as a time. You can change the cell format, if desired, to any of the other time formats supported by Excel.

Note:

If you would like to know how to use the macros described on this page (or on any other page on the ExcelTips sites), I've prepared a special page that includes helpful information. Click here to open that special page in a new browser tab.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (10101) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Excel in Microsoft 365, and 2021. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Converting Numeric Values to Times.

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

How Operators are Evaluated

Operators are used in formulas to instruct Excel what to do to arrive at a result. Not all operators are evaluated in the ...

Discover More

Pasting Multiple Paragraphs Into a Single Cell

Copying information from one program (such as Word) to another (such as Excel) is a common occurrence. If you want to ...

Discover More

Converting to Hexadecimal

Excel allows you to easily convert values from decimal to other numbering systems, such as hexadecimal. This tip explains ...

Discover More

Save Time and Supercharge Excel! Automate virtually any routine task and save yourself hours, days, maybe even weeks. Then, learn how to make Excel do things you thought were simply impossible! Mastering advanced Excel macros has never been easier. Check out Excel 2010 VBA and Macros today!

More ExcelTips (ribbon)

Checking for Data Entry Errors for Times

When you enter a time value into Excel, the program tries its hardest to make the value into a valid time. This can lead ...

Discover More

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

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 less than 9?

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.