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: Converting UTC Times to Local Times.

Converting UTC Times to Local Times

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated August 6, 2016)

Brian lives in Australia and needs to convert a UTC time into his local time. Problem is, he doesn't know how to go about doing it.

UTC is an abbreviation for Coordinated Universal Time. (Yes, I know it looks like the abbreviation letters are out of order. They are; this is why it isn't an acronym. The abbreviation is—believe it or not—based on a political compromise.) UTC is equivalent to International Atomic Time with leap seconds added at irregular intervals to compensate for the Earth's slowing rotation. UTC is never out of synch with GMT (Greenwich Meridian Time) by more than nine tenths of a second, so the two (UTC and GMT) are virtually equivalent in common usage.

Because of this, all you need to do to convert from UTC to a local time is to figure out how many hours your time varies from GMT. There are any number of Websites you can visit to determine such information; the following is an example of one you can use. (Just click a city near you that you know is on the same time zone as you, then look at the resulting time to see how many hours different you are from GMT.)

http://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/

If you are near Sydney, Australia, you can see that your local time is ten hours ahead of GMT. This means that to determine the local time if you know UTC, all you need to do is add ten hours to that time. If the UTC is in cell B3 in Excel's date and time format, then you could use either of these formulas:

=B3 + TIME(10,0,0)
=B3 + (10 / 24)

You should understand that these formulas don't account of Daylight Savings Time. If you live in an area that implements some sort of time adjustment scheme (such as DST), then you will need to adjust your formulas accordingly. This means that if you are near Sydney you need to figure out when DST starts and ends, and if you are currently affected by DST you will need to add eleven hours to your UTC value.

You can find more information about adjusting local times to GMT (or, if you will, UTC) by visiting this tip:

http://excel.tips.net/T002185

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (3440) 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: Converting UTC Times to Local Times.

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. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Changing Label Sizes

Information formatted for one type of label may someday need to be printed on a different type of label. Here's some ...

Discover More

Centering a Paragraph with the Keyboard

Need a quick shortcut that you can use to center your paragraph between the margins? The answer is here.

Discover More

Hyperlinking to a Specific Excel Worksheet

Creating a hyperlink to an Excel workbook is easy. With the information in this tip you can discover how to hone that ...

Discover More

Excel Smarts for Beginners! Featuring the friendly and trusted For Dummies style, this popular guide shows beginners how to get up and running with Excel while also helping more experienced users get comfortable with the newest features. Check out Excel 2013 For Dummies today!

MORE EXCELTIPS (MENU)

Converting an Unsupported Date Format

Excel makes it easy to import information created in other programs. Converting the imported data into something you can use ...

Discover More

Calculating Time Differences between Two Machines

Want to know how much of a time difference there is between your machine and a different machine? This tip provides some ...

Discover More

Adjusting Date Values by Keypress

Excel allows you to store dates in a cell. Wouldn't it be great if you could select a cell containing a date and then ...

Discover More
Subscribe

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

View most recent newsletter.

Comments for this tip:

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. 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 nine more than 2?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


Newest Tips
Subscribe

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.

Links and Sharing
Share