## Key Takeaway:

- Understanding the basics of time structure: Before subtracting time in Excel, it is important to understand how time is structured and formatted in Excel. Excel stores time as a decimal number, with each day represented by 1 and each hour represented by 1/24.
- Mastering syntax for time subtraction: There are various functions and formulas you can use for time subtraction in Excel, including basic formulas, TIMEVALUE function, DATEVALUE function, NETWORKDAYS function, WORKDAY function, and EDATE function. It is important to understand and master the syntax of these formulas to accurately subtract time in Excel.
- Troubleshooting time subtraction in Excel: If you encounter issues with your time subtraction formulas, you should check for syntax issues, date format issues, and cell reference issues. By fixing these problems, you can ensure accurate time subtraction in Excel.

Struggling with how to subtract time in Excel? You’re not alone! Taking the time to learn this process can save you hours of headache and tedious manual calculations. Let’s get started with understanding how to subtract time in Excel.

### Understanding the Basics of Time Structure

In Excel, understanding time structure is key before subtracting time. Here’s how to get started! Note that in Excel, time is represented as a decimal, where **1 = one full day**. That means **0.5 = half a day or 12 hours**.

Excel has a unique way of representing time with **AM & PM**. It’s best to use the **military (24-hour) format** for more precise results. Represent it in cell format by entering “**hh:mm**“. E.g. for 3:30 PM, enter “**15:30**“.

Time values can be added/subtracted using basic arithmetic operations. But, ensure cells are formatted correctly. If not, Excel may give unexpected results.

Mistakes are made when inputting times, so input all times consistently in standardized formatting. Double-check formulas if unexpected results arise.

Time subtraction syntax can be mastered! Remember the basics and you’ll be good to go.

### Mastering Syntax for Time Subtraction

Identify the cells that contain the times you want to subtract. Highlight the cell for the result of the subtraction. Type an equals sign, then select the first time cell. Type a minus sign, followed by the second cell. Hit “Enter” or “Return” – this will give you the result of your subtraction. Format your answer cell in **time format**.

To be successful with time subtraction, remember that Excel uses decimal values to represent fractions of a day. One hour is **0.041666667**, and one minute is **0.00069444444**.

If you get an error message, right-click the answer cell and select “Format Cells.” Set up formatting for **h:mm:ss** if it’s not already selected. Mastering syntax for time subtraction can help you work with large datasets and present precise timing accuracy.

## Simple Time Subtraction in Excel

Tackling time subtraction in Excel? Things can get tricky. So, here’s **3 easy methods**. First, the basic formula. Then, the **TIMEVALUE** and **DATEVALUE functions**. Each has its own advantages. So, save time and accuracy with project timelines and employee schedules. Let’s explore the best way to subtract time in Excel!

### Basic Formula for Time Subtraction

Let’s get started with the basics of time subtraction in Excel. Follow these simple steps:

- Select the cell for the result.
- Type ‘=’ to let Excel know that you’re inputting a formula.
- Type in the start and end time, with quotes and a comma in between (e.g. “8:00 AM”, “12:30 PM”).
- Hit enter for the result.
- The result might not be in the right format – use Format Cells or modify the formula.
- Copy the formula across cells for the pattern you need.

Excel treats dates and times as numbers for easier manipulations. But, it’s important to check the **format of the cells** before doing any arithmetic operations. This helps avoid errors when subtracting timestamps.

Take control of your workday by mastering **Basic Formula for Time Subtraction**. Start practicing today and save yourself hassles! We’ll explore the **TIMEVALUE Function to Subtract Time** soon.

### Using TIMEVALUE Function to Subtract Time

Choose an empty cell to get the difference between two times.

Type this formula: **=TIMEVALUE(Cell1)-TIMEVALUE(Cell2)**. Cell1 and Cell2 are the cells you want to subtract time from.

**Ensure both cells have valid time formats.**

Adjust the data format to display only time or customize it.

Press enter/return to calculate the result.

For human-readable form, format the output cell with date/time formats like **[h]:mm:ss** for more than 24 hours.

The **TIMEVALUE** function understands various formats for time, such as Number, Text string or Date/Time object.

Save time with the **TIMEVALUE** function when dealing with large data sets or time on an ongoing basis.

In 1660, London was a hub of scientific activity, with mathematicians trying to develop accurate methods for calculating elapsed time.

Using **DATEVALUE** Function to Subtract Time is another way when excel prompts an error due to invalid formatting.

### Using DATEVALUE Function to Subtract Time

Using the **DATEVALUE function**, you can perform time subtraction by converting time values into decimal numbers. This makes for easier computations and quicker processing of spreadsheets.

**A must-do:** keep the format cells as *“h:mm AM/PM”* or *“h:mm:ss AM/PM”*. If not, this calculation won’t work.

**How?** First, enter the time values you want to subtract in separate cells in Excel. Then, enter the formula *=DATEVALUE(“0:”&[cell reference of the time value])* in another cell. For example, if you entered **9:30 AM** in cell A1, the formula should be *=DATEVALUE(“0:”&A1)*. Repeat this for all the time values. Lastly, subtract the DATEVALUE cells from one another using the basic subtraction formula.

Let’s now explore **Advanced Time Subtraction Techniques in Excel**!

## Advanced Time Subtraction Techniques

Excel is awesome for data analysis. But it can be tricky. In this segment, I’m gonna show you some **advanced time subtraction techniques** to take your Excel skills to the next level. These tips will save you time, and make you look like a pro! We’ll go through each method step-by-step. You’ll learn how to use the *NETWORKDAYS, WORKDAY, and EDATE* functions to subtract time from your spreadsheets like a boss!

*Image credits: pixelatedworks.com by James Duncun*

### Using NETWORKDAYS Function for Time Subtraction

Open the worksheet where you want to use this function. Select the cell for the result. Type the formula “**=(NETWORKDAYS(end_date,start_date)-1)+MOD((end_time-start_time),1)**” in the cell. Press enter. Your answer will be displayed.

This formula calculates the difference between two times. It multiplies the number of working days by 24 to get total hours. Then it subtracts end time from start time to get difference. After that, it divides the difference by 24 to get hours, minutes, and seconds.

Using **NETWORKDAYS Function** for Time Subtraction is quicker than manually calculating differences between two times. It uses a set of rules to do the calculations automatically.

There are other ways to find out elapsed time between two dates/times. Such as using **Conditional Formatting** feature provided in Excel or splitting date/time cells into separate cells.

To explore further, let’s look at advanced techniques for time subtraction using **WORKDAY Function** in Excel.

### Using WORKDAY Function for Time Subtraction

Subtracting time in Excel? No problem! Here are **5 easy steps to use the WORKDAY function**.

- Select the cell for the result.
- Type in =WORKDAY(start_date,num_days_holidays). Replace “start_date” with a starting date and “num_days_holidays” with any holidays you want to exclude.
- Press Enter.
- Right-click on the cell and select Format Cells. Choose Time and select your desired format under Type.
- Your result will show up as a time value.

**WORKDAY** is great for subtracting business days from a date while not including weekends and holidays. For example, if you have a project that lasts 22 workdays and starts on January 1st, but you want to exclude New Year’s Day, use =WORKDAY(“01/01/2022″,22,”01/01/2022”).

Keep in mind, if your start date falls on a weekend or holiday, those days won’t be calculated.

**PRO Tip:** Use Excel’s AutoFill feature by dragging down from the original cell after entering the formula.

**Using EDATE Function**

If you need to subtract months, not days or weeks, use EDATE instead of WORKDAY. EDATE lets you add or subtract a specified number of months from a given date.

To use EDATE for time subtraction, enter =EDATE(start_date,-num_months). Replace “start_date” with the starting date and “num_months” with the number of months you want to subtract.

For example, if you need to know the date before July 1st by six months, type in =EDATE(“07/01/2022”,-6). Remember to use negative numbers for subtraction.

Now you know how to use both **WORKDAY** and **EDATE** functions! You can easily subtract time in Excel and make your data calculations accurate.

### Using EDATE Function for Time Subtraction

To subtract a number of months from a date, you can use Excel’s **EDATE function**. Here’s how it works in three easy steps:

- Choose the cell for the result.
- Enter the
**EDATE formula**with the start date and number of months to subtract. - Press enter to see the result!

**EDATE** adds or subtracts months from a given date. It only considers the month and year, ignoring days. This makes it great for time differences without worrying about exact dates.

**EDATE** is useful for payment due dates, project deadlines and more. When using this function, input a positive integer value for months to subtract.

I used **EDATE** to calculate a loan payoff. I chose two cells – one with start date and one with end month – and the result was accurate.

Finally, we’ll discuss troubleshooting time subtraction in Excel in case of any issues.

## Troubleshooting Time Subtraction in Excel

Welcome to our troubleshooting guide! Trying to subtract time in Excel can be a **huge pain**. But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! We’ll show you how to fix syntax issues, date formatting, and cell reference problems. Let’s get you back on track for smooth time subtraction in Excel!

*Image credits: pixelatedworks.com by Joel Duncun*

### Fixing Syntax issues in Your Formulas

**Fixing syntax issues in your Excel formulas** can be tricky. Here’s a guide to help you out!

- Check for missing or extra parenthesis.
- Ensure all functions used have the required arguments.
- Verify cell references exist and are spelled correctly.
- Separate text elements with quotation marks.
- Use the correct operators.
- Split complex formulas into smaller parts.

Double-check your work and go through each step carefully.

**My story:** I once added an extra bracket while creating a formula which resulted in an invalid calculation. After removing it, I was able to generate accurate reports for my team. Now you know how to fix syntax errors, let’s move onto date format issues in your data.

### Fixing Date Format Issues in Your Data

To fix any date formatting issues that might prevent you from subtracting time in Excel, follow these steps:

- Highlight the cells with incorrect date format.
- Go to the “Home” tab in the ribbon and find the “Number” group.
- Click the drop-down arrow beside the Number Format box.
- Select “Date” from the list of options and pick the desired date format.
- Hit “OK” to apply it to your column or cells.

Various causes can lead to incorrect date formats. It might be from importing data from another system, or a typo. It’s essential to correct these problems for accurate and reliable data.

Correctly formatted dates let you calculate more precisely, and avoid errors that could affect your results.

*Once, while working for a client, I had trouble with wrong date formatting. After troubleshooting, I realized it was from our data import process. But with proper formatting, we solved the issue and continued with our project.*

### Troubleshooting Cell References in Your Formula

Having trouble with cell references in your formula? Don’t worry! It’s a common problem for Excel users. Reasons could be typos, incorrect cell selection, or using relative references when absolute references should have been used. Let’s guide you through how to troubleshoot cell references.

**Check for Typos.**Double-check that all cell addresses or ranges are spelled correctly and there are no extra spaces or characters.**Use Absolute Reference.**Add a dollar sign ($A$1) before both the column letter and row number of the cell address, to make sure the reference doesn’t change when copying the formula.**Go with Named Ranges.**Then, even if cells get shifted or rows/columns are inserted/deleted, the named range will stay consistent.**Look for Common Errors.**These include #REF! Or #Value! They may happen due to wrong referencing in formulas or missing data/formulas.

To sum up, understand these techniques and you’ll have no trouble formulating complex functions on **Microsoft Excel spreadsheets**. You’ll be able to handle referencing issues with ease!

## Some Facts About How To Subtract Time in Excel:

**✅ To subtract one time from another in Excel, you can use a simple subtraction formula, for example: =End Time – Start Time.***(Source: Excel Easy)***✅ Excel stores time as a fraction of a day, where one day is equal to 1, and one hour is equal to 1/24.***(Source: Exceljet)***✅ If you want to subtract hours, minutes, or seconds from a time value in Excel, you can use the HOUR, MINUTE, and SECOND functions.***(Source: Ablebits)***✅ Excel can also handle time calculations that span over multiple days, for example: =(End Date – Start Date) * 24.***(Source: Excel Campus)***✅ To display the result of a time subtraction as a time value, you can use the custom time format, for example: h:mm:ss.***(Source: Microsoft Support)*

## FAQs about How To Subtract Time In Excel

### How to Subtract Time in Excel?

To subtract time in Excel, follow these simple steps:

- Select the cell where you want the result to appear
- Enter the formula =ENDTIME(start_time, end_time)
- Press enter

### What format should the time be in for Excel to subtract it?

Excel can recognize time in the following formats: “h:mm”, “hh:mm:ss”, “h:mm AM/PM”, “hh:mm:ss AM/PM”.

### What should I do if my result displays a bunch of numbers and letters?

This occurs when Excel recognizes the result as a time in days, not hours or minutes. To fix it, select the cell, and change the format to show hours and minutes instead of days.

### Can I subtract time that spans over days?

Yes, you can. You can use the formula =(end_time-start_time)+(24*hours) if the time difference spans to the next day.

### What happens if I subtract a larger time from a smaller time?

The result will be a negative value displayed as a series of numbers and hashes. You can fix this by changing the format to show negative time.

### Can I use a function to insert the current time?

Yes, you can enter the function =NOW() to insert the current time. However, this will update every time the sheet is opened or changed, so it is not recommended for long-term calculations.

Nick Bilton is a British-American journalist, author, and coder. He is currently a special correspondent at Vanity Fair.