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: Combining and Formatting Times.
by Allen Wyatt
(last updated July 28, 2018)
Brenda has an Excel worksheet with two columns: A and B. In column A are times, without any indication of whether they are AM or PM. Instead, column B contains either AM or PM, as appropriate for the cell just to the indicator's left. Brenda would like to combine these two columns into one column and have the result formatted as military time. Thus, if A14 contains 05:11 and B14 contains PM, she would like the combined column to contain 17:11.
There are very easy ways you can get the desired results in a column, but the formula you choose depends on the way the times are stored in column A. If the times are actually time values, then the following formula in column C will work just fine:
The formula works because it adds half a day (0.5, which is an Excel time value for twelve hours) to the time in column A if the indicator in column B is "pm". It will work whether the indicators in column B are lowercase ("pm") or uppercase ("PM"). It won't work, however, if you have any times in column A that are past noon, such as 12:15. In that case, you'll need to modify the formula a bit:
If the time stored in column A are actually stored as text, then you'll need to do a conversion, but it is extremely easy to do:
=VALUE(A1 & " " & B1)
Regardless of which formulaic approach you use, you'll need to format the cells containing the formulas so that they show times in military (24 hour) format. You can pick one of the pre-defined time formats (shown in the Number tab of the Format Cells dialog box) such as 13:30 or 13:30:55, depending on whether you want seconds displayed or not. You could also define a custom format such as HH:MM, H:MM, HH:MM:SS, or H:MM:SS.
ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (12040) 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: Combining and Formatting Times.
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!
When you use a formula to come up with a result that you want displayed as a time, it can be tricky figuring out how to ...Discover More
Need to round the time in a cell to a certain value? There are a couple of ways you can do this with a formula.Discover More
If you have a bunch of times entered into cells without the colon between the hours and minutes, chances are good that ...Discover More
FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."
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.