How to Use Excel to Calculate Total Time

By Mark Kennan

One of the most commonly used spreadsheet computer programs is Microsoft Excel. The program allows users to enter data and to have the programs automatically calculate and display the result. For example, if you wanted to calculate the total time between two dates or events, you could use Microsoft Excel. The events can be just a date, such as July 20 through Aug. 15, or it can be a date and time, such as 7 a.m. on Jan. 23 to 8 p.m. on June 13.

Step 1

Enter the starting date and time in cell A1 using the format "month/day/year hour:minutes AM/PM." For example, if your starting time is 7:15 a.m. on July 15, 2010, you would enter "7/15/2010 7:15 AM" in cell A1.

Step 2

Enter the ending date and time in cell A2 using the format "month/day/year hour:minutes AM/PM." For example, if your ending time is 7:15 a.m. on July 17, 2010, you would enter "7/17/2010 7:15 AM" in cell A2.

Step 3

Enter "=A2-A1" in cell A3 to find the number of days between the two times. Excel will automatically display the total time. In this example, Excel would automatically display "2." If you want to convert to hours elapsed, multiply by 24. If you want to convert to minutes, multiply by 1,440.