Elapsed Time Formula

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Elapsed Time Meaning

Calculating the elapsed time or time difference is easily done in Excel. We simply subtract the before and after time, ensuring the correct or preferred time format. This tutorial will step through the simple steps to calculate elapsed time in Excel. Calculating elapsed time in Excel.


Create a table with Before, After and Elapsed Time headers.

Enter the examples as shown in the table below. Sample Data for Calculating Elapsed Time in Excel. Select the data range for the table. In this case, select cells B4:D8. Selection of the data range to set the time format.

Press the keys Ctrl + 1 to open the Format Cells dialog box. Select the time format “h:mm:ss”. Selection of the preferred time format. It’s that simple. The trick is in ensuring that the time format used is the same to avoid confusion.

In cell D4, enter the formula:. The result is 2:00:00 or 2 hours.

Let us do the same for the data in rows 5 to 8.

Output: Calculating elapsed time in Excel. We can change the format of the elapsed time according to our preference.

Let’s take the last example and express the elapsed time in three different time formats: h:mm, h:mm:ss, mm:ss. Note that the value shown for the elapsed time differ depending on the format used.

Comparison: Elapsed time in different time formats.

Figure 5 above shows how important it is to ensure that the time format we are using is the correct or preferred format. For elapsed time that exceeds 24 hours, the format that we should use is [h]:mm:ss and not h:mm:ss.

The example below shows the difference between the two formats. Correct format to use for elapsed time > 24 hours. Most of the time, the problem you will need to solve will be more complex than a simple application of a formula or function.

Formula :

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Calculate Elapsed Time

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  • If you want to save hours of research and frustration, try our liveExcelchat service! Our Excel Experts are available 24/7 to answer any Excel question you may have.
  • We guarantee a connection within 30 seconds and a customized solution within 20 minutes. Elapsed time is the time taken by an event to occur between the start of the time and the end of the time.
  • In simple words, we can say that the amount of time that has passed between the beginning and the end of an event is called the elapsed time.
  • We can determine this time by subtracting the end time and the start time. The formula to calculate the elapsed time is simply to subtract the hours and minutes separately.
  • It gives the duration of an event. Further in this article, we will explore the concept of elapsed time, its meaning, and its formula.
  • We will also learn to calculate elapsed time on a number line and the meaning of the estimated elapsed time. We shall solve a few examples based on the topic to understand its applications and the concept in a better way.
  • Let us first recall the meaning of the terms time and elapse separately. Elapse is a verb of time that means 'pass or go by' and time is a measurable period or duration in which an event occurs.
  • So, elapsed time is a concept of time that describes the time that has passed from the start of an event till the end of an event.
  • Elapsed time gives the period or the duration of an event to occur. Let us go through some of the basic examples of elapsed time in our daily lives below to understand its meaning:.

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  • The time taken by a boy to finish a race. The time taken to cook a recipe. The duration of a journey covered in a car.
  • The time taken by a school bus from start till the reaching the school. Elapsed time means the time that has elapsed between the start of the time and the end of the time.
  • For example, if a man starts traveling at 10:30 AM and ends the journey at 12:15 PM, the time elapsed is the duration of his journey, that is, the time between 12:15 PM and 10:30 AM.
Elapsed time is an important concept as it helps us to learn to read the time on a clock and measure the time taken for an event to occur.
Let us now understand the formula to calculate the elapsed time in the next section.
We can calculate the elapsed time by subtracting the time at the end of the event and the time at the beginning of the event.
We subtract the hours and the minutes separately.
We can write time in two formats, one is the 12-hour format where we use AM and PM, and another is the 24-hour format where the time is given in hours and minutes.
For example, if an event starts at 16:40 and ends at 23:50, then the elapsed time can be determined as,.
Hours = 23 - 16 = 7, Minutes = 50 - 40 = 10.
We can simplify the problems by breaking the time into 1-hour gaps and then calculating.
We will solve a few examples in the upcoming sections to understand this better.