As you work in Excel spreadsheets, you may find yourself using a variety of different units. These might include hours, minutes, and seconds. Now, imagine that you want to combine these elements into a single cell with a time value inside. Fortunately, Excel offers an easy way to do just that. Let’s learn how to use TIME in Microsoft Excel.
How to Use TIME in Excel
Consider three cells containing the values 18,40, and 23. Initially, these may seem to have little meaning, but now imagine that they’re hours, minutes, and seconds. Wouldn’t it be nice to display these values as 6:40:23 PM inside a single cell? Excel’s TIME function lets you do it.
Begin by clicking into an empty cell. For best results, it helps to select Time from the Cell Format dropdown, found on Excel’s Home tab.
Then, input your TIME function:
Now, click into the cell containing the hour. Here, that’s cell A2. Then, type a comma, and select the minute cell, B2. Add another comma, then select the second cell, C2. Close the parentheses, completing your formula as follows:
Hit Enter on your keyboard, and Excel will return the time value, displayed as 6:40:23 PM.
Now, imagine a second set of numbers: 5, -20, and 10. The time formula here would be:
Since the minute value is negative, Excel will subtract it from the hour. In other words, 5:00 AM, less 20 minutes, is 4:40:10 AM. This demonstrates the versatility of the TIME function.
As you can see, Excel’s TIME function takes separate hour, minute, and second values and combines them into a simple, easy-to-read time format. Try it out next time you’re working with sets of time data inside Microsoft Excel.