Question

We have a column of cells in an Excel spreadsheet containing times like, 3:15, relating to the time spent on a task. At the bottom of the column I’ve used AutoSum to add up the times, but the result appears as either a date or funny number. What do I do to get a total in hours and minutes?

Answer

The formula you created with AutoSum is fine.

All you need do is apply an appropriate format to its result:

  • Select the cell containing the total
  • From the Format menu, choose the Cells command
  • From the Category list, select Custom
  • In the Type box, input the format [h]:mm
    (note the use of square brackets).
    If you want to show seconds in your total, input
    [h]:mm:ss
    (this format is listed in Excel’s Custom formats)
  • Click OK.