Three Frustrations When Calculating TIme in Excel

When I am training a class to use MS Excel, I always get at least one question about performing time calculations. I sense that the person asking the question is frustrated. When I ask, “How many of you are frustrated when you try to perform a calculation to total time periods in Excel?” nearly every hand is raised! And they are right; Excel’s time calculations can cause frustration.

In this video lesson, I will show you how to overcome three common frustrations that you may have when performing time calculations in Excel.

Here are the steps to follow in this Excel Training Video:

  1. Format the cell that contains the formula =End_Time – Start_Time) to the Custom Number Format h:mm
  2. I encourage you to use this formula instead of a simple formula: =IF(End_Time < Start_Time, End_Time + 1, End_Time)-Start_Time.
  3. This will eliminate any possible “Negative times” which result in a cell filled with ######### A Negative Time is frequently the result of “Time Periods that Span Midnight. e.g. Start @ 11:00 PM and End @ 3:00 AM
  4. TIP: Use this Formula =MOD(End_Time – Start_Time, 1) This is the MODULUS Function.
  5. When you calculate the total number of hours and the result exceeds 24 hours, use this Format [h]:mm

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