## Definition

The HOUR formula in Excel is a function that, as the name suggests, returns the hour of a specified time, ranging from 0 (12:00 AM) to 23 (11:00 PM).

## Purpose

The purpose of the HOUR formula is to extract the hour as a number from a specific time value or time text string. It simplifies data analysis tasks by separating the hour component from full date-time values.

## Syntax

Here’s the basic syntax of the HOUR formula:

`=HOUR(serial_number)`

## Parameters

The HOUR formula has a single parameter:

- Serial_number: This represents the Excel time from which you want to extract the hour.

## Returns

The HOUR formula yields an integer that signifies the hour component of a given time.

## Usage notes

Remember, the HOUR formula is particularly beneficial when you need to isolate the hour component from a time for data analysis.

## Availability

Rest assured, you can use the HOUR formula in all versions of Excel.

## Example #1

Let’s say you want to extract the hour from the time 18:30. You would utilize the HOUR formula like this:

`=HOUR("18:30")`

The formula will return the number 18, which represents the hour.

## Example #2

Assume you have a time in cell A2 and you wish to determine the hour. Here’s the HOUR formula you would use:

`=HOUR(A2)`

This formula will return the hour component of the time in cell A2.

## Example #3

For this example, let’s extract the hour from the current time:

`=HOUR(NOW())`

This formula will yield the current hour.

## Example #4

In our fourth example, let’s calculate the hour from a full date-time string:

`=HOUR("2023-12-31 15:30")`

This formula will return the number 15, which represents the hour.

## Example #5

In our last example, let’s determine the hour from a time given in 12-hour format:

`=HOUR("02:30 PM")`

This formula will return the number 14, which is the equivalent of 2 PM in a 24-hour format.

## Tips and tricks

A handy trick when using the HOUR formula in Excel is to remember that it also works with date-time strings and can convert a 12-hour format into a 24-hour format.

## Limitations

The HOUR formula’s key limitation is that it doesn’t recognize text values that aren’t valid times. In such cases, it returns a #VALUE! error.

## Common errors and solutions

The most common mistake when using the HOUR formula is inputting non-time values for the serial_number parameter. Ensure that the input values are valid times to avoid a #VALUE! error.

## Best Practices

The best practice when using the HOUR formula is always to verify the input times for accuracy.

## List of Related functions

HOUR is just one of many date and time functions in Excel. Other related functions include MINUTE, SECOND, NOW, and TIME.

## Frequently Used with the formulas

The HOUR formula often pairs with other formulas like NOW, TODAY, MINUTE, and SECOND for more comprehensive time calculations.

## Frequently Asked Questions

### Q. What happens if the serial_number is not a valid time?

If the serial_number is not a valid time, the HOUR formula will return a #VALUE! error.

### Q. Can I use the HOUR formula with date-time strings?

Yes, the HOUR formula can extract the hour from date-time strings.

### Q. Can the HOUR formula handle time in 12-hour format?

Yes, the HOUR formula can convert a 12-hour format into a 24-hour format.

Excel’s HOUR formula is a valuable tool for data analysis tasks. With it, you can simplify and accelerate your time-related calculations.

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