[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)   // 8/15/2022
// Long date:
string.Format("{0:D}", date)   // Monday, August 15, 2022 
// Short time:
string.Format("{0:t}", date)   // 12:31 PM
// Long time:
string.Format("{0:T}", date)   // 12:31:25 PM
// Full date/time (short time):
string.Format("{0:f}", date)   // Monday, August 15, 2022 12:31 PM
// Full date/time (long time):
string.Format("{0:F}", date)   // Monday, August 15, 2022 12:31:25 PM
// General  date/time (long time):
string.Format("{0:g}", date)   // 8/15/2022 12:31 PM
// General  date/time (long time):
string.Format("{0:G}", date)   // 8/15/2022 12:31:25 PM
// Sortable date/time:
string.Format("{0:s}", date)   // 2022-08-15T12:31:25

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)   // 08/15/2022
string.Format("{0:MMMM dd, yyyy}", date)// August 15, 2022
string.Format("{0:MMM yyyy}", date)     // Aug 2022
string.Format("{0:hh:mm tt}", date)     // 12:31 PM

// Year patterns:
string.Format("{0:yy yyy yyyy}", date)  // 22 2022 2022
// Month patterns:
string.Format("{0:MM MMM MMMM}", date)  // 08 Aug August
// Day patterns:
string.Format("{0:dd ddd dddd}", date)  // 15 Mon Monday
// Hour
string.Format("{0:hh HH tt}", date)     // 12 12 PM
// Minute, second, second fraction 
string.Format("{0:mm ss ffff}", date)   // 31 25 8001

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, 15 August 2022 12:31 
date.ToString("d", invC)        // 08/15/2022 
date.ToString("t", invC)        // 12:31 
// German CultureInfo 
CultureInfo deC = new CultureInfo("de-De");
date.ToString("f", deC)        // Montag, 15. August 2022 12:31 
date.ToString("d", deC)        // 15.08.2022 
date.ToString("t", deC)        // 12:31 
// French CultureInfo 
CultureInfo frC = new CultureInfo("fr-FR");
date.ToString("f", frC)        // lundi 15 août 2022 12:31 
date.ToString("d", frC)        // 15/08/2022 
date.ToString("t", frC)        // 12:31 
// Spanish CultureInfo 
CultureInfo esC = new CultureInfo("es-ES");
date.ToString("f", esC)        // lunes, 15 de agosto de 2022 12:31 
date.ToString("d", esC)        // 15/08/2022 
date.ToString("t", esC)        // 12:31 

    

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: 8 d: 15 
// Force time format to use ':' as separator ()
string.Format("{0:HH':'mm}", date)                  // 12:31

TOOL: Test you format string

A simple tool for test your format string.

string.Format("
", DateTime.Now)