# Checking for Time Input

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: Checking for Time Input.

Excel provides a number of functions that return True or False depending on the content of a cell. For instance, ISBLANK returns True if a cell is empty, ISERR returns True if a cell contains an error value, and ISTEXT returns True if a cell contains text. You may wonder if it is possible to determine if a cell contains a time.

The short answer is no, you cannot—Excel contains no function to indicate if a cell contains a time. The reason is quite simple: Times and dates in Excel are technically nothing but numbers. A date is any number in the range 1 to 2958465, which represent the dates of 1/1/1900 through 12/31/9999. If you add a decimal portion to the number, then that represents a time (0 is midnight, 0.25 is 6:00 am, 0.5 is noon, etc.).

Knowing the range of values that can be used for dates and times, along with the fact that a cell containing a time should be formatted properly to display a time, you can create a formula that will indicate if a cell contains a time:

```=IF(AND(CELL("format",B2)>="D6",CELL("format",B2)<="D9"),
"Time Format","Not Time Format")
```

This formula checks the formatting applied to cell B2. If the formatting is one of the commonly used formats for times, then it returns the text "Time Format." If a different formatting is used, then the formula returns "Not Time Format."

A different approach is to check whether the value in cell B2 is a valid time value. You can do that by using a formula such as the following:

```=IF(TIMEVALUE(TEXT(B2,"hh:mm:ss"))=B2, "Time Entry", "Not a Time Entry")
```

The function works fine as long as cell B2 contains only a time. If the cell contains both a date and time, then the function always returns "Not a Time Entry."

To get the best of both worlds—checking formats and the value in the cell—consider making a user-defined function in VBA. The reason is simple: VBA includes the IsDate function which not only looks at the current range of the number, but also checks to see that the cell is formatted as a date. The following macro provides an example as to how you could create such a function:

```Function IsTime(rng As Range) As Boolean
Dim sValue As String
sValue = rng.Cells(1).Text
On Error Resume Next
IsTime = IsDate(TimeValue(sValue))
On Error GoTo 0
End Function
```

To use the function, use the following formula in a cell:

```=IsTime(B2)
```

The function reads how the value is displayed (using the text property of the cell object) and then tries to convert it with the TIMEVALUE function. If that is a date (determined by the IsDate function) then the display is a valid time. If it is not a date, VBA generates an error, which the code is programmed to ignore.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (3292) 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: Checking for Time Input.

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