How to Quickly Understand VBA Time Value in 3 Minutes (Excel)

Written by Kasper Langmann

Mastering the VBA Time Value in Excel is a crucial skill for anyone who wants to automate their tasks and improve their efficiency. In this guide, we’ll break down the concept into digestible parts, making it easy for you to understand and apply in your work.

Understanding VBA Time Value

The Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) Time Value is a function that converts a string to a time. It’s a part of Excel’s date and time functions, which are essential for managing and analyzing data. The Time Value function is particularly useful when you need to manipulate, format, or calculate times.

Before diving into how to use the function, it’s important to understand how Excel handles dates and times. Excel stores dates as sequential serial numbers, with January 1, 1900, as the starting point. Times are stored as decimal fractions because they represent a fraction of a day. For example, 12:00 PM is 0.5, representing half of a day.

Using the VBA Time Value Function

Now that you have a basic understanding of how Excel handles time, let’s explore how to use the VBA Time Value function. The syntax for the function is as follows: TimeValue(time_text). Here, time_text is the time in text format that you want to convert.

For instance, if you want to convert the string “12:30:00” to a time, you would use the function TimeValue(“12:30:00”). The function will return 0.520833333333333, which is the decimal representation of the time.

Formatting the Time Value

While the decimal representation of time is useful for calculations, it’s not very readable. To format the time value into a more human-readable format, you can use the Format function. The syntax for the function is as follows: Format(expression, format_text). Here, expression is the value you want to format, and format_text is the format you want to apply.

For example, if you want to format the time value 0.520833333333333 as “hh:mm:ss”, you would use the function Format(0.520833333333333, “hh:mm:ss”). The function will return “12:30:00”.

Error Handling

When using the VBA Time Value function, you may encounter errors if the time_text argument is not a valid time. To handle these errors, you can use the IsDate function to check if the argument is a valid date or time before passing it to the Time Value function.

The syntax for the IsDate function is as follows: IsDate(expression). Here, expression is the value you want to check. The function will return True if the value is a valid date or time, and False otherwise.

Practical Applications of the VBA Time Value Function

The VBA Time Value function has a wide range of applications in Excel. Here are a few examples:

Calculating Time Differences

One common use of the Time Value function is to calculate time differences. For example, you can use the function to calculate the duration of a task, the time elapsed between two events, or the time remaining until a future event.

To calculate a time difference, you can subtract the earlier time from the later time. Remember to format the result as “hh:mm:ss” to make it readable.

Scheduling Tasks

The Time Value function can also be used to schedule tasks. For example, you can use the function to determine the start time or end time of a task based on its duration and the current time.

To schedule a task, you can add the duration of the task to the current time. Remember to use the Now function to get the current date and time, and the TimeSerial function to specify the duration of the task.

Creating Time-Based Triggers

Another use of the Time Value function is to create time-based triggers. For example, you can use the function to execute a macro at a specific time, or to perform an action when a certain amount of time has passed.

To create a time-based trigger, you can use the Application.OnTime method. This method schedules a procedure to be run at a specified time in the future (either at a specific time of day or after a specific amount of time has passed).


The VBA Time Value function is a powerful tool in Excel. By understanding how it works and how to use it, you can automate your tasks, analyze your data more effectively, and improve your productivity. Remember to practice using the function to become more comfortable with it and discover its full potential.

Whether you’re calculating time differences, scheduling tasks, or creating time-based triggers, the Time Value function has you covered. So why wait? Start exploring the function today and see how it can transform your Excel experience.