Hello folks, here is a tutorial about building a clock in Excel.

Enjoy!

## Building a live Excel clock

by George Lungu

Here are a few date and time functions in VBA:

Now : Current date and time. Example: 7/5/00 3:16:38 PM returned by Now

Date : Current date only. Example: 7/5/00 returned by Date

Time : Current time only. Example: 3:12:38 PM returned by Time

Timer # of seconds since midnight. Example: 3:16:38 PM returned by Timer

TimeValue() Time part of argument. Example: 3:16:38 PM returned by TimeValue(Now)

DateValue() Date part of argument (excellent for ordering by date)

### The VBA macro:

The following macro is designed to be started or stopped by clicking a single button. For this purpose the Boolean variable “RunClk” was declared:

Dim RunClk As Boolean

———————————————————–

Sub RunPauseClk() “RunClk”

RunClk = Not (RunClk) ‘This statement in the macro logically “flips” the variable and this has the effect of exiting the “Do” loop if the loop is active, or to starting it if the loop is inactive.

Do While RunClk = True ‘This is the conditional infinite “Do” loop used to display the time in cell “A1” and the date in cell “A2”

DoEvents

Range(“A1”) = TimeValue(Now)

Range(“A2”) = Now()

Loop ‘end statement of “Do” loop

End Sub ‘end statement of the macro

### Additional spreadsheet functions used:

hour() – Extracts the number of hours from a date.

minute() – Extracts the minutes from a date.

second() – Extracts the seconds from a date.

radians() – Converts an angle from degrees to radians.

– On our spreadsheet the macro will print the time in cell “A1” and date in call “A2”

– We’ll calculate the hours in cell “A4””

Cell A4: ”=HOUR($A1)”

– The minutes and seconds will be calculated in cell “B4” and “C4” respectively:

Cell B4: “=MINUTE($A1)”, Cell C4: “=SECOND($A1)”

### The trigonometry and geometry behind the clock implementation:

In trigonometry the angles are measured in “radians” not in “degrees”

– There are 24 hours in a day and the “hour-arm” will rotate two full circles (2*360o = 720o). This arm will turn 720/24 = 30 degrees/hour.

– There are 60 minutes in an hour and during one hour the “minute-arm” will turn one full circle (360o). This arm will turn 360/60 = 6 degrees/minute.

– There are 60 seconds in one minute time in which the “second-arm” will turn one full circle (360o). This arm will turn 360/60 = 6 degrees/second.

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### Based on the reasons listed previously we can write the following formulas for the angles of each arm:

We can create the “seconds-arm” for instance by plotting two points on a 2D scatter plot:

– point A of coordinates (xo,yo) – these are the coordinates of the origin and are fixed (typically (0,0)

– point S of coordinates (xs,ys) – these are the coordinates of the arm’s tip

– rseconds is the length of the arm

xo xs

AOS is a right triangle and from definitions of basic trigonometric functions we can write:

Y s= Y 0+R seconds*cos(α )

X s= X 0+R seconds*sin(α )

The area (A1:C1) contains the implementation if the clock function on the spreadsheet.

The “Run-Pause Clock” button has the VBA macro “RunPauseClk()” assigned to it.

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### Charting the clock:

– After we created the table of coordinates of the three clock arms we need to plot the data on a 2D scatter plot. The data can be inserted as three different series on the chart (one for each arm) since it’s easier to control the color of the three curves.

– The chart has to be sized square and the axes must be deleted but not before setting the their range between -1.2 and 1.2 let’s say (or other numbers, symmetric around origin).

– The sizes of the clock arms have to be adjusted visually function of the dial by changing three constants on the spreadsheet (cells “A7”, “A9”, “A11”).

– Depending on the background we choose, the colors of the three arms need to be changed and the curve markers removed.

-I personally like to leave one round marker in the center where normally the common hub of the arms is located.

– Next, we are ready to insert a picture (the clock face or dial)

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### Creating the clock face:

– After we inserted the 2D scatter chart, resized it to a square, and charted the three arms, it’s time to insert a dial picture as a background.

– You can google “clock pictures” or “clock dial” or I usually go to www.cafepress.com and type “clock dial” then save the image on my computer

– Inserting the picture: Select the chart -> Left Click -> Fill Effects -> Picture – Select Picture. It is important to choose a square picture or to crop it to a square.

by George Lungu <excelunusual.com >

Cool trick..

But the problem is, macro disable if add any entry in the spreadsheet’s cell.s again want to run the start button. Could you please let me know how to fix this?

This is very cool. Hats off!!

Thanks, Kevin!

when i am done i will let you know.

best regard.

Hi , I want to make an world analog clock in vba so please how to do it . I realy need it in my college project.

If you google “excel clock VBA” you will find a free model somewhere. I try to stay away from VBA as much as I can. Besides, using the “record” macro feature you can easily figure out how to do that.

Very cool Tutorial!! Thanks for posting!

And I thought that I’m an advanced VBA Dev.

This one made me believe I’m not so advanced after all.

Proves to show that a little VBA with very advanced Excel skills can be quite amazing.

If I could, I wouldn’t use any VBA. Thanks for commenting.

Hi George, I am only a noob when it comes to VBA and I was quite amazed when i discovered this website, thats really awsome. For the Analog clock, if i write anything in a cell, the clock stops! Can anything be done to rectify that please?

Thank you

Regards,

Ash

Hi Ash, unfortunately nothing that I know can be done to keep the clock running while you type something in the cell. My VBA is very basic. I am trying to keep as much of the game within cell formulas as possible. Cheers, George

Hi George, I am not an expert but i do not think that you VBA is at basic level only…..keep up the good job and thanks again….cheers, Ash

This is really a wonderful site.

Before this i had a very limited knowledge about the usages of excel (but having a feeling that i have good command over excel functions & calculations, like many other guys)

& now, you have opened the horizons for me.

It’s really awsome. I am really amazed to see all this wonderful calculations.

This is really a great combination of engineering & excel.

-Ankit

Thanks Ankit. stop by from time to time, and try your own ideas in excel. The least VBA or syntax the better. Experiment with concepts before reading or asking. Trust your own judgement before anyone else’s. 99% of the people are much smarter and capable than they believe. I am planning to post 20-25 times a month. Best regards, George

Hi George,

With the help of your formula to plot the analog clocks hands, I’ve designed an spreadsheet that shows the current time into a world map with clocks for countries and cities around the world and now I’d like to share with your readers.

https://pedrowave.blogspot.com/2011/01/how-to-dynamically-generate-gui.html

https://pedrowave.blogspot.com/2011/01/time-zones-map-with-world-clocks.html

Excuse my bad English. What is the correct expression? clock hands or clock arms?

Hi Pedro, Very nice, I will publish the two links. Both, clock arms and hands are correct. George

I authorize you to post photos and information on my blog whenever referencing and linking it. I’d pleased to collaborate with you on these issues.

I would appreciate it if you wrote a comment on my blog.

Have a happy New Year.

Hi Geo, now thanks to your tutorial, when I already know how to make an analog clock, I’m trying to make a world map with clocks in any timezone.

When I have finished I’ll let you know.

I see you already have some followers and you avoid spam comments.

Best regards,

Pedro.