Excel: Enter Minutes and Seconds

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Problem: I have to keep track of test data in minutes and seconds.

Strategy: This is much more difficult than anyone would think. Say that the first test took 1 minute and 30 seconds. You try entering 1:30 in a cell.

  1. What does the value in B2 really mean?

    The result looks OK. However, when you click on the cell, you see that Excel has interpreted the entry as 1:30 AM, which is 1 hour and 30 minutes instead of 1 minute and 30 seconds.

  2. Excel assumed you meant 1 hour and 30 minutes.

    To enter minutes and seconds, you have to enter 0:01:30. This seems like a frustrating waste of extra keystrokes.

    If you have entered a column of time in the wrong format, you can correct it with =TIME(0,HOUR(A2),MINUTE(A2)). Alternatively, multiply the times by (1/60).

  3. Two ways to correct time that has been entered incorrectly.