Setting parameters to format dates

These parameters are used to set the format of dates.

Table 1. Date formatting parameters
Symbol Meaning Presentation Example
G era designator (Text) AD
y year (Number) 1996
M month in year (Text and Number) July and 07
d day in month (Number) 10
h hour in am/pm (1-12) (Number) 12
H hour in day (0-23) (Number) 0
m minute in hour (Number) 30
s second in minute (Number) 55
S millisecond (Number) 978
E day in week (Text) Tuesday
D day in year (Number) 189
F day of week in month (Number) 2 (2nd Wed in July)
w week in year (Number) 27
W week in month (Number) 2
a am/pm marker (Text) PM
k hour in day (1-24) (Number) 24
K hour in am/pm (0-11) (Number) 0
z time zone (Text) Pacific Standard Time
' escape for text (Delimiter)  
'' single quote (Literal)  
The number of letters determines format:
  • Four or more pattern letters, use full form.
  • Less than four, use short or abbreviated form if one exists.
Example: Day/Month/Year
  • d,M,y = 3,3,3.
  • dd,MM,yy = 03,03,03.
  • dd,MMM,yy = 03,Mar,03.
  • dd,MMMM,yyyy = 03,March,2003.
Lowercase and uppercase:
  • The case of letters used in date and time code is not consistent. For example, "M" for month but "d" for day and "y" for year.
  • Uppercase and lowercase letters can mean different things. For example, "s" for second and "S" for millisecond.
Incorrect format:

If a date or time code is entered incorrectly, nothing is returned.

Other characters:

Any characters in the pattern that are not in the ranges of ['a'..'z'] and ['A'..'Z'] is treated as quoted text. For example, characters like ':', '.', ' ', '#' and '@' appear in the resulting time text even if they are not embraced within single quotes.

Examples Using the US locale:

Table 2. Example
Format Pattern Result
"yyyy.MM.dd G 'at' hh:mm:ss z" 1996.07.10 AD at 15:08:56 PDT
"EEE, MMM d, ''yy" Wed, July 10, '96
"h:mm a" 12:08 PM
"hh 'o''clock' a, zzzz" 12 o'clock PM, Pacific Standard Time
"K:mm a, z" 0:00 PM, PST
"yyyyy.MMMMM.dd GGG hh:mm aaa" 1996.July.10 AD 12:08 PM