Using Time Span in a Table or Summary

With time span, a format for numeric fields, you can display elapsed time (assumed to be in seconds) in HHHH:MM:SS.sss format in both tables and summaries.

Characteristics of the time span format

The time span format displays a numeric value (assumed to be seconds) as hours, minutes, seconds and, optionally, fractions of seconds in the following format:


For example, in a time span field an elapsed time of 70 seconds (i.e., 1 minute and 10 seconds) would be displayed as 00:01:10.

Time span values show a minimum of 2 digits for hours (and a maximum of 11 digits), exactly 2 digits for minutes and exactly 2 digits for seconds. If the "Decimals" setting isn't "zero", then fractions of seconds are displayed to the given number of decimal places (up to a maximum of 9).

Time separator character

In a time span field, the "Time separator" character from the "Time" tab in the Windows Regional Settings dialog is used as the separator between hours and minutes and between minutes and seconds. The "Decimal symbol" from the "Number" tab in the Windows Regional Settings dialog is used as the separator between seconds and fractions of seconds. Note: You can specify a different time separator character by clicking the Windows Start button, pointing to Settings, and selecting Control Panel. In the Control Panel, double-click on the Regional Settings icon to display the Regional Settings Properties dialog. In this dialog, click on the "Time" tab, enter the desired character in the "Time separator" field, click the Apply button, then click the OK button.

Negative and zero values

If a time span value is negative, a negative sign is shown preceding the value. The Negative sign symbol from the Number tab in the Windows Regional Settings dialog is used for this purpose.

Time span values of zero are displayed as zero hours, zero minutes and zero seconds (e.g., "00:00:00"), unless the user has selected "Suppress zero values" in Monarch Classic’s View Options dialog, in which case the value is entirely blanked out.

Exporting time span formats

When exporting, the formatted time span is preserved only for fixed-length text formats. For all other formats, the exported value is the unformatted value in seconds. This is necessary because database and spreadsheet formats do not support time spans.

Rounding of time span values

A value in a time span field is always rounded to the last decimal place. This may cause rollover into the seconds, minutes and hours (see examples below).

Examples of Time Span Values and Rounding:



Time Span






















Note: As with all numeric display formats, the numeric values must be used in calculated fields, filters, sorts and matching values in summaries, rather than how the time span format represents the values. For example, records with time spans over 1 hour in the Call_Time field can be selected or found using the filter expression Call_Time>3600.

Assigning the time span format to a numeric field in a table or summary

  1. Double-click on the desired numeric field. The Field Properties dialog displays.

  2. From the Format drop-down list on the General tab, select the Time Span option, then click the OK button.

Note: Before clicking the OK button, you can use the Display Width and Decimals fields to change the width of, and assign decimal places to, the field to which you are applying the time span format.




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