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Excel TIME Function

We can use the Excel TIME function to create time using its individual components like hour, minutes and seconds values to return with a decimal number representing the specific time. The steps below will walk us through the process of using this in-built function.

Figure 1- Result of using the Excel TIME function

General Formula

=TIME(hour,min,sec)

Formula

=TIME(A4,B4,C4)

Setting up the Data

  • We will create out a possible list of data as displayed in the figure below.
  • Column A will contain a list of Hours
  • Our list of Minutes will be displayed in Column B
  • Column C will contain a list of Seconds
  • We will insert our formula in Column D to arrive at the decimal result.

Figure 2 – Setting up the Data

Applying the Excel TIME function

  • We will click on Cell D4
  • We will insert the formula below into Cell D4
    =TIME(A4,B4,C4)
  • We press the enter key

Figure 3 – Applying the Excel TIME function

  • Using the fill handle tool (a plus sign located at the base of Cell D4), we will drag down the formula into the other Cells.

Figure 4 – Result of using the Excel TIME function

Explanation

We use the TIME function to create a serial number format (decimal value) from its hours, minutes and seconds component. However, you must always use a valid component, because a valid component will always return with a valid time which can be formatted in your own way.

Also, we can combine the TIME function with many other functions to perform different operations such as:

  • Add decimal hours or decimal minutes to time through the use of the TIME function by adding the minutes or hours divided by 24 times
  • Use the TIME function together with the SUMPRODUCT function to achieve the sum of the total amount of time over 30 minutes.
  • Count the number of time in a given array by combining the TIME function and the COUNTIFs function.

Note

  • Negative values are OK
  • When minutes or seconds are over 60, they will be rolled over to the hour or minute respectively.
  • When there are no components of some cells in a particular row, then zero will be inserted in the empty cells to prevent an error result.
  • The returned time will be in decimal form. Right-click and click on format cells. Click on time and select the time format.

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