Excel negative time / date

  navvyman 18:32 24 Sep 2007

I may have my stupid head on but:
Excel displays negative dates as an apparently infinite row of hash marks.
I have a spreadsheet that calculates hours worked by deducting start time from finish time - all formatted as hours and minutes xx:xx.
It then subtracts standard hours from hours worked to give extra hours worked - also xx:xx. So far so good, but it all goes to pot when the employee works less than standard hours and all I get is ### ad infinitum.
Any suggestions for a simple solution - I can use an IF function but need to explain it to non IT literate users (or I can use an IF and hide the cell, I guess)

  VoG II 19:25 24 Sep 2007

You can try Tools > Options and change to the 1904 date system which I believe supports negative times.

The alternative is to use a formula like


which will return a positive time even if A1 > B1 - you could use an extra cell to indicate whether that condition was true.

  navvyman 19:37 24 Sep 2007

Thanks VoG - reliable and accurate as ever - the 1904 date format works a treat - and they understand excel dates so not too much to explain.

(I'll play with the MOD function later for fun!)

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