[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)   // 1/25/2020
// Long date:
string.Format("{0:D}", date)   // Saturday, January 25, 2020 
// Short time:
string.Format("{0:t}", date)   // 3:57 AM
// Long time:
string.Format("{0:T}", date)   // 3:57:22 AM
// Full date/time (short time):
string.Format("{0:f}", date)   // Saturday, January 25, 2020 3:57 AM
// Full date/time (long time):
string.Format("{0:F}", date)   // Saturday, January 25, 2020 3:57:22 AM
// General  date/time (long time):
string.Format("{0:g}", date)   // 1/25/2020 3:57 AM
// General  date/time (long time):
string.Format("{0:G}", date)   // 1/25/2020 3:57:22 AM
// Sortable date/time:
string.Format("{0:s}", date)   // 2020-01-25T03:57:22

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)   // 01/25/2020
string.Format("{0:MMMM dd, yyyy}", date)// January 25, 2020
string.Format("{0:MMM yyyy}", date)     // Jan 2020
string.Format("{0:hh:mm tt}", date)     // 03:57 AM

// Year patterns:
string.Format("{0:yy yyy yyyy}", date)  // 20 2020 2020
// Month patterns:
string.Format("{0:MM MMM MMMM}", date)  // 01 Jan January
// Day patterns:
string.Format("{0:dd ddd dddd}", date)  // 25 Sat Saturday
// Hour
string.Format("{0:hh HH tt}", date)     // 03 03 AM
// Minute, second, second fraction 
string.Format("{0:mm ss ffff}", date)   // 57 22 7556

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)        // Saturday, 25 January 2020 03:57 
date.ToString("d", invC)        // 01/25/2020 
date.ToString("t", invC)        // 03:57 
// German CultureInfo 
CultureInfo deC = new CultureInfo("de-De");
date.ToString("f", deC)        // Samstag, 25. Januar 2020 03:57 
date.ToString("d", deC)        // 25.01.2020 
date.ToString("t", deC)        // 03:57 
// French CultureInfo 
CultureInfo frC = new CultureInfo("fr-FR");
date.ToString("f", frC)        // samedi 25 janvier 2020 03:57 
date.ToString("d", frC)        // 25/01/2020 
date.ToString("t", frC)        // 03:57 
// Spanish CultureInfo 
CultureInfo esC = new CultureInfo("es-ES");
date.ToString("f", esC)        // sábado, 25 de enero de 2020 3:57 
date.ToString("d", esC)        // 25/01/2020 
date.ToString("t", esC)        // 3:57 

    

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: 2020 m: 1 d: 25 
// Force time format to use ':' as separator ()
string.Format("{0:HH':'mm}", date)                  // 03:57

TOOL: Test you format string

A simple tool for test your format string.

string.Format("
", DateTime.Now)