starting from scratch, I need to come up with a custom function to get cells with key words in a column and add up hours to get me the total hours for each day(column). here is how the sheet is set up. column a,b&c are frozen and contain equipment id and general info about the equipment(forklifts and material handling equip). across the top row are the dates. so this is a continuous schedule for equipment usage and maintenance. the corresponding cell under the date column and in the equipment row is where we schedule an action for the equipment for that day. it can be maintenance action or usage. im not concerned with maintenance but I need to get the hours in which all equipment was used for each day(column). so the example data that im looking for is like this "AAT 0930-1300". that means that section AAT will be using the equipment from 930am to 1pm. hope that my explanation is clear, if not just ask, please. ok so now here is what I would like to accomplish. at the bottom of each column I would like to get a total of usage for that day. so I need a custom function to find these cells in the column that contain key words, meaning find the section abbreviation code like the example above would be "AAT". and there are about 30 er so sections who use the equipment. then after the key word/section is found in a cell I need to get the time frame and subtract to get the hours used from it. the custom function will need to find the time frame in the same format as the example above"0930-1300". four numbers, dash, four numbers. cells can have other numbers in them, but time frame for usage is always in this "0000-0000" format. does anybody have any ideas on how I can get this done? or maybe point me in the right direction? thanks in advance for your help.