Microsoft KB Archive/103769

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MacWorks:Multiply Time Entry to Obtain Decimal Number Equivalent

PSS ID Number: Q103769 Article last modified on 10-22-1998

3.0 4.0



The information in this article applies to:

  • == Microsoft Works for the Macintosh, versions 3.0 and 4.0 ==


When you perform operations on times in a Microsoft Works spreadsheet, multiply the figures by the appropriate amount to obtain decimal values for hours, minutes, or seconds. To obtain hours, multiply the time result by 24. For minutes, multiply the time result by 1440. For seconds, multiply the time result by 86,400.


Works handles times as fractions of days to facilitate date/time calculation. Numbers entered directly as times (for example, “9:30 AM”) are calculated as decimal fractions of 1. Problems may arise when these figures are used in calculations. For example:

  1. Enter “9:30 AM” (without quotation marks) in cell A1.
  2. Enter “10:35 AM” (without quotation marks) in cell A2.
  3. Enter “=A2-A1” (without quotation marks) in cell A3. The number displayed will be 0.04513889.
  4. Format the cell as “h:mm”. The result will then be displayed as 1:05. However, multiplying this by an hourly pay rate will give unexpected results because Works is storing the value as a fraction of a day.
  5. Change the formula in cell A3 to "=(A2-A1)*24" (without quotation marks) and format the cell as General. The number will be displayed as 1.083333. This reflects the accurate figure in decimal hours.
  6. Enter the formula "=(A2-A1)*1440" (without quotation marks) in cell A4. The result, formatted as General, will be 65 (minutes).
  7. Enter the formula "=(A2-A1)*86400" (without quotation marks) in cell A5. The result, formatted as General, will be 3900 (seconds).

To restore the figures to an actual time value, divide them by the appropriate increment. Note that times are handled as time since January 1, 1904, (the first date of the Macintosh internal clock). Mixing times and actual dates requires handling them accordingly.

KBCategory: kbother KBSubcategory: macworkskb

Additional reference words: mac m_eXcel mwksss 3.00

Version : 3.0 4.0 Platform : MACINTOSH Issue type : kbhowto ============================================================================= Copyright Microsoft Corporation 1998.