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.

Numbers in Base 12

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated January 4, 2014)


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.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

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. ...


Page Layout Zoom Settings

The zoom setting at which you view a document can sometimes be saved with a document. This tip explains how the zoom ...

Discover More

Accessing the Source of a Document Link

If you have information linked into your document, you may want to display the source of that linked information. Word ...

Discover More

Creating Multiple Blank Documents in One Step

Word makes it easy to create a new, blank document. What if you want to create more than one document at a time, however? ...

Discover More

Program Successfully in Excel! John Walkenbach's name is synonymous with excellence in deciphering complex technical topics. With this comprehensive guide, "Mr. Spreadsheet" shows how to maximize your Excel experience using professional spreadsheet application development tips from his own personal bookshelf. Check out Excel 2013 Power Programming with VBA today!

More ExcelTips (menu)

Selecting Random Names

Got a tone of names from which you need to select a few random names? There are several ways you can extract what you ...

Discover More

Using the WEEKNUM Function

Need to know which week of the year a particular date falls within? Excel provides the WEEKNUM function so you can easily ...

Discover More

Iterating Circular References

Does your data require that you perform calculations using circular references? If so, then you'll want to be aware of ...

Discover More

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.


If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is five more than 3?

2014-08-25 15:05:04

Eric Richards

95 in the top formula gives 7:11

gives 007B (B in Hexadecimal is 11)

This Site

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.

Newest Tips

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.