Parse time string to time
Which parses a 6-character time string in hhmmss format into a valid Excel time.
Note: the examples above use different time format codes as indicated in the screenshot.
Excel expects times in Excel to be entered with the hour and minute separated by a colon. If you are entering a time with seconds, you'll need to add another colon to separate minutes and seconds, as seen in the table below:
|Desired time||Entry format|
|10 minutes, 15 seconds||0:10:15|
The example on this page shows one way to skip the colons and enter a simple 4-digit or 6-digit text string that represents a time, then parse the text into a proper Excel time with a formula in a helper column.
This is a good example of nesting one function inside another in the same formula.
How this formula works
First, note that the cells in F5:F13 are formatted as Text prior to entry. This allows the times to contain leading zeros like "083000". Alternately, you can enter these time strings with a single quote at the start (') to force Excel to respect them as text.
Next, the time string contains 6 characters in the following format:
hhmmss // as text
This means the formula needs to pick up 2 characters each for hour, minute, and second. Working from the inside, out, this task is performed with the LEFT, MID, and RIGHT functions:
Each of the function returns a result directly to the TIME function. In E9, we have:
So the result inside TIME looks like this:
The TIME function then quietly handles the text-to-number conversion and returns a valid time:
Representing 4 hours, 10 minutes, and 55 seconds.
With a 4-character time string
The formula in C5 is meant to handle only a 4 character time string (hours and minutes), so the structure is a bit simpler. We simply hardcode the value for seconds into the TIME function as zero: