[C#] Format DateTime as String Examples

Some examples and tips on C# DateTime formatting using string.Format() or .ToString() methods.

Standard DateTime format

Standard formats are typically used when you need a fast string representation of your DateTime object based on current culture.

DateTime date = DateTime.Now;
// Short date:
string.Format("{0:d}", date)   // 10/5/2022
// Long date:
string.Format("{0:D}", date)   // Wednesday, October 5, 2022 
// Short time:
string.Format("{0:t}", date)   // 6:10 PM
// Long time:
string.Format("{0:T}", date)   // 6:10:35 PM
// Full date/time (short time):
string.Format("{0:f}", date)   // Wednesday, October 5, 2022 6:10 PM
// Full date/time (long time):
string.Format("{0:F}", date)   // Wednesday, October 5, 2022 6:10:35 PM
// General  date/time (long time):
string.Format("{0:g}", date)   // 10/5/2022 6:10 PM
// General  date/time (long time):
string.Format("{0:G}", date)   // 10/5/2022 6:10:35 PM
// Sortable date/time:
string.Format("{0:s}", date)   // 2022-10-05T18:10:35

Custom DateTime format

Custom formats are useful when you need more flexibility on the output string format.

DateTime date = DateTime.Now;
string.Format("{0:MM/dd/yyyy}", date)   // 10/05/2022
string.Format("{0:MMMM dd, yyyy}", date)// October 05, 2022
string.Format("{0:MMM yyyy}", date)     // Oct 2022
string.Format("{0:hh:mm tt}", date)     // 06:10 PM

// Year patterns:
string.Format("{0:yy yyy yyyy}", date)  // 22 2022 2022
// Month patterns:
string.Format("{0:MM MMM MMMM}", date)  // 10 Oct October
// Day patterns:
string.Format("{0:dd ddd dddd}", date)  // 05 Wed Wednesday
// Hour
string.Format("{0:hh HH tt}", date)     // 06 18 PM
// Minute, second, second fraction 
string.Format("{0:mm ss ffff}", date)   // 10 35 9879

Format DateTime for a specific culture

When you format a DateTime with DateTime.ToString() you can also specify the culture to use.


using System.Globalization;
// ...
DateTime date = DateTime.Now;
// InvariantCulture 
CultureInfo invC = CultureInfo.InvariantCulture;
date.ToString("f", invC)        // Wednesday, 05 October 2022 18:10 
date.ToString("d", invC)        // 10/05/2022 
date.ToString("t", invC)        // 18:10 
// German CultureInfo 
CultureInfo deC = new CultureInfo("de-De");
date.ToString("f", deC)        // Mittwoch, 5. Oktober 2022 18:10 
date.ToString("d", deC)        // 05.10.2022 
date.ToString("t", deC)        // 18:10 
// French CultureInfo 
CultureInfo frC = new CultureInfo("fr-FR");
date.ToString("f", frC)        // mercredi 5 octobre 2022 18:10 
date.ToString("d", frC)        // 05/10/2022 
date.ToString("t", frC)        // 18:10 
// Spanish CultureInfo 
CultureInfo esC = new CultureInfo("es-ES");
date.ToString("f", esC)        // miércoles, 5 de octubre de 2022 18:10 
date.ToString("d", esC)        // 05/10/2022 
date.ToString("t", esC)        // 18:10 

    

Character escape and text

Any characters not used by the formatter is reported in the result string. If you need to enter text with reserved characters that must be inserted between two ' (single quote).

DateTime date = DateTime.Now;
// Escaped date text
string.Format("{0:'y:' yyyy' m:' M 'd:' d}", date)  // y: 2022 m: 10 d: 5 
// Force time format to use ':' as separator ()
string.Format("{0:HH':'mm}", date)                  // 18:10

TOOL: Test you format string

A simple tool for test your format string.

string.Format("
", DateTime.Now)