You are here:

Excel/Calculating time interval from date/time stamps


Hi Stuart,

I am currently trying to calculate time intervals from a file that has date and time stamps. The first two number in each cell are the day of the month, followed by the time in hh:mm:ss form. If the data below is in columns a1-d4, I want to know the time interval between b1-a1, c1-b1,and d1-c1.

17 19:02:37   17 19:12:51   17 19:19:59   17 19:31:09
12 04:01:57   12 04:08:18   12 04:13:02   12 04:37:57
08 23:46:38   08 23:49:32   08 23:54:29   09 00:37:15

When I subtract the cells I get an #value error. If I do text to columns to remove the date, I can get an answer in hh:mm:ss format, but cant find a solution to times that cross between two days (no times span more than two days), like in the last row above.

Thanks in advance for your help!


Example: Cell C3 is

08 23:54:29

Cell D3 is

09 00:37:15

Format cell D5 as Category: Time, Type 37:30:55

In D5, enter formula


D5 will display 0:42:46. This means that the interval between 23:54:29 on the 8th of the month, and 00:37:15 on the 9th of the month is 42 minutes and 46 seconds.  
About Excel
This topic answers questions related to Microsoft Excel spreadsheet (or workbook) stand-alone or Mircrosoft Office Excel including Excel 2003, Excel 2007, Office 2000, and Office XP. You can get Excel help on Excel formulas(or functions), Excell macros, charting in Excel, advanced features, and the general use of Excel. This does not provide a general Excel tutorial nor the basics of using a spreadsheet. It provides specific answers to using Microsoft Excel only. If you do not see your Excel question answered in this area then please ask an Excel question here


All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Stuart Resnick


I can answer questions relating to MS Excel formulas, or to programming with vba (Visual Basic for Applications) in the Excel environment. Please follow the following guidelines: your question should focus on one specific issue you want to learn. It's beyond the scope of this free service for me to create entire projects or complex vba solutions for you from scratch. You should be able to do most of the work yourself, and come here when you need help with a specific point you're stuck on. ALWAYS include a simple, concrete example illustrating what you want to learn. Explain this example in detail in the text of your question (what data is in which cells of which sheets, etc). Be very precise about the results you want, using this sample to make the logic clear. Always keep these examples SIMPLE. Never e.g. use 18 worksheets in your example if using 2 or 3 will do. Never use ranges like AI567:BB865 if using a range like A1:B3 will do. Thanks.


As a consultant, I've designed Excel tools since the 90s, working for the Federal Reserve Bank, AT&T, and (currently) Gap Inc.

My only "education" comes from 2 decades of doing spreadsheet/programming work, with major SF Bay Area corporations such as AT&T, Federal Reserve Bank, and Gap Inc.

©2017 All rights reserved.