Got a version of Excel that uses the menu interface (Excel 97, Excel 2000, Excel 2002, or Excel 2003)? This site is for you! If you use a later version of Excel, visit our ExcelTips site focusing on the ribbon interface.
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.
Learn more about Allen...
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.
Professional Development Guidance! Four world-class developers offer start-to-finish guidance for building powerful, robust, and secure applications with Excel. The authors show how to consistently make the right design decisions and make the most of Excel's powerful features. Check out Professional Excel Development today!