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Numbers in Base 12

Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Excel 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Excel, click here: Numbers in Base 12.

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:


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 (2540) applies to Microsoft Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Excel (Excel 2007 and later) here: Numbers in Base 12.

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Comments for this tip:

Eric Richards    25 Aug 2014, 15:05
95 in the top formula gives 7:11

gives 007B (B in Hexadecimal is 11)

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