Google Sheets features a built-in time formatting tool that makes converting between 12-hour time and military time, also known as 24-hour time, a breeze.
This tutorial covers how to use the built-in time conversion tool in Google Sheets.
It may be particularly useful if you have an existing workbook that has times stored as 12-hour values and you need to convert them to the military/24-hour format.
If you’re entering new time values, you can choose to format them as you please: Google Sheets is reasonably intuitive with recognizing time formats automatically.
Sheets will assume it is a 12-hour time if you add “AM” or “PM” to the end; it will default to 24-hour time if there isn’t an AM or PM value.
However, the default formatting won’t do you any good if you have a combination of different time formats or you need to change from 12-hour to 24-hour/military time.
The following steps explain how to convert existing time values in Google Sheets to 24-hour/military time.
How to Convert to Military Time in Google Sheets
Google Sheets uses a formatting tool with a few configuration levels to standardize displayed time formats regardless of the value entered in the cell.
You can use this tool to convert from “standard time” to “military time” by following these steps.
- Select the cells you want to format in military time. The example shows selecting cells A2 through A6 which contain several 12-hour time values in the hours/minutes/seconds/AM:PM format (any time values will work).
- Launch the time formatting tool by selecting “Format” from the header menu, choosing “Number,” scrolling over “More Formats,” and clicking on “More date and time formats.”
- Scroll down the pop-up menu and search for the 24-hour formats. The examples all use 1:30:30 PM as an example time so you can identify the 24-hour/military time formats as “13:30:30” for the hour/minute/seconds, “13:30” as hour/minutes, and “8/5 13:30” for the military date format of month/day hour/minutes. The example uses “13:30:30.”
- (Optional) If you want to have a 0 preceding single-digit hours, click the “hour” select bar and choose “Hour with leading zero (01).”
- Hit apply to finalize your formatting settings.
- The spreadsheet will now show time values formatted in military time.
Common 24-Hour/Military Time Format Settings
The 24-hour clock is commonly referred to as “military time” in countries that use the 12-hour clock; however, it is not exclusively used by militaries.
It’s actually the common way to tell the time in both 12-hour and 24-hour formats in different countries.
Depending on your time formatting needs, these are the most commonly used 24-hour/military time formats:
- H:MM – 13:30 and Hour (1) – 1:00
- HH:MM – 13:30 and Hour (01) – 01:00
- H:MM:SS – 13:30:30 and Hour (1) – 1:00:00
- HH:MM:SS – 13:30:30 and Hour (01) – 01:00:00
This tutorial covered how to use the built-in Google Sheets time formatting tools as well as how to configure them to convert 12-hour time values into 24-hour/military time values in Google Sheets.
I hope you found this tutorial useful!
Related reading: How to Add Days to Date in Google Sheets