How to Enter Time values Quickly in Excel

In this article, we will learn How to Enter Time values Quickly in Excel


Excel considers only two forms of cell value: text and number. Numbers include many formats like General, Scientific, date, time, currency, fraction, percentage and accounting. These all formats have different custom changes and can be converted to each other. Change number formats from custom formats option

Time formats in Excel

To open Format cell option. First select the cell or range of cells and use the shortcut key Ctrl + 1.

There are many time formats in the Format cells option. Some of these are:

  • h:mm AM/PM
  • h:mm:ss AM/PM
  • h:mm
  • h:mm:ss
  • dd/mm/yy hh:mm AM/PM
  • dd/mm/yy hh:mm:ss AM/PM

The last two can be used with both date and time formats.

Example :

All of these might be confusing to understand. Let's understand how to use the function using an example. Here we have some time values in different formats.

And we need to change their formats to one specific time format hh:mm:ss.

For this First select the cells where date formatting is required. Now Use Ctrl + 1 to open Format cells dialog box.

Select Custom or time category. You can either type the specific format or choose from the given ones. Select the one and Click Ok.

As you can see you get all the time values under one format. Or you can select the cells and right click > Format cells option to open Format cell dialog box.

Alternate way

This process is common practice to change cell format. Go to Home > Change General to Time (under Number).

As you can see from the picture above.

Here are all the observational notes using the formula in Excel
Notes :

  1. Excel stores dates and time as numbers and is used in calculation by the function. So it’s recommended to use dates as cell reference or using the TIME function instead of giving direct argument to the function. Check the validation of time values, or else the function returns #VALUE! Error.
  2. Excel TIMEVALUE function only converts time values in text format to time values in number format.

Hope this article about How to Enter Times Quickly in Excel is explanatory. Find more articles on calculating values and related Excel formulas here. If you liked our blogs, share it with your friends on Facebook. And also you can follow us on Twitter and Facebook. We would love to hear from you, do let us know how we can improve, complement or innovate our work and make it better for you. Write to us at

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