[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)   // 4/12/2021
// Long date:
string.Format("{0:D}", date)   // Monday, April 12, 2021 
// Short time:
string.Format("{0:t}", date)   // 9:16 AM
// Long time:
string.Format("{0:T}", date)   // 9:16:44 AM
// Full date/time (short time):
string.Format("{0:f}", date)   // Monday, April 12, 2021 9:16 AM
// Full date/time (long time):
string.Format("{0:F}", date)   // Monday, April 12, 2021 9:16:44 AM
// General  date/time (long time):
string.Format("{0:g}", date)   // 4/12/2021 9:16 AM
// General  date/time (long time):
string.Format("{0:G}", date)   // 4/12/2021 9:16:44 AM
// Sortable date/time:
string.Format("{0:s}", date)   // 2021-04-12T09:16:44

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)   // 04/12/2021
string.Format("{0:MMMM dd, yyyy}", date)// April 12, 2021
string.Format("{0:MMM yyyy}", date)     // Apr 2021
string.Format("{0:hh:mm tt}", date)     // 09:16 AM

// Year patterns:
string.Format("{0:yy yyy yyyy}", date)  // 21 2021 2021
// Month patterns:
string.Format("{0:MM MMM MMMM}", date)  // 04 Apr April
// Day patterns:
string.Format("{0:dd ddd dddd}", date)  // 12 Mon Monday
// Hour
string.Format("{0:hh HH tt}", date)     // 09 09 AM
// Minute, second, second fraction 
string.Format("{0:mm ss ffff}", date)   // 16 44 7473

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)        // Monday, 12 April 2021 09:16 
date.ToString("d", invC)        // 04/12/2021 
date.ToString("t", invC)        // 09:16 
// German CultureInfo 
CultureInfo deC = new CultureInfo("de-De");
date.ToString("f", deC)        // Montag, 12. April 2021 09:16 
date.ToString("d", deC)        // 12.04.2021 
date.ToString("t", deC)        // 09:16 
// French CultureInfo 
CultureInfo frC = new CultureInfo("fr-FR");
date.ToString("f", frC)        // lundi 12 avril 2021 09:16 
date.ToString("d", frC)        // 12/04/2021 
date.ToString("t", frC)        // 09:16 
// Spanish CultureInfo 
CultureInfo esC = new CultureInfo("es-ES");
date.ToString("f", esC)        // lunes, 12 de abril de 2021 9:16 
date.ToString("d", esC)        // 12/04/2021 
date.ToString("t", esC)        // 9:16 

    

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: 2021 m: 4 d: 12 
// Force time format to use ':' as separator ()
string.Format("{0:HH':'mm}", date)                  // 09:16

TOOL: Test you format string

A simple tool for test your format string.

string.Format("
", DateTime.Now)