[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)   // 1/19/2021
// Long date:
string.Format("{0:D}", date)   // Tuesday, January 19, 2021 
// Short time:
string.Format("{0:t}", date)   // 10:26 AM
// Long time:
string.Format("{0:T}", date)   // 10:26:10 AM
// Full date/time (short time):
string.Format("{0:f}", date)   // Tuesday, January 19, 2021 10:26 AM
// Full date/time (long time):
string.Format("{0:F}", date)   // Tuesday, January 19, 2021 10:26:10 AM
// General  date/time (long time):
string.Format("{0:g}", date)   // 1/19/2021 10:26 AM
// General  date/time (long time):
string.Format("{0:G}", date)   // 1/19/2021 10:26:10 AM
// Sortable date/time:
string.Format("{0:s}", date)   // 2021-01-19T10:26:10

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)   // 01/19/2021
string.Format("{0:MMMM dd, yyyy}", date)// January 19, 2021
string.Format("{0:MMM yyyy}", date)     // Jan 2021
string.Format("{0:hh:mm tt}", date)     // 10:26 AM

// Year patterns:
string.Format("{0:yy yyy yyyy}", date)  // 21 2021 2021
// Month patterns:
string.Format("{0:MM MMM MMMM}", date)  // 01 Jan January
// Day patterns:
string.Format("{0:dd ddd dddd}", date)  // 19 Tue Tuesday
// Hour
string.Format("{0:hh HH tt}", date)     // 10 10 AM
// Minute, second, second fraction 
string.Format("{0:mm ss ffff}", date)   // 26 10 2149

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)        // Tuesday, 19 January 2021 10:26 
date.ToString("d", invC)        // 01/19/2021 
date.ToString("t", invC)        // 10:26 
// German CultureInfo 
CultureInfo deC = new CultureInfo("de-De");
date.ToString("f", deC)        // Dienstag, 19. Januar 2021 10:26 
date.ToString("d", deC)        // 19.01.2021 
date.ToString("t", deC)        // 10:26 
// French CultureInfo 
CultureInfo frC = new CultureInfo("fr-FR");
date.ToString("f", frC)        // mardi 19 janvier 2021 10:26 
date.ToString("d", frC)        // 19/01/2021 
date.ToString("t", frC)        // 10:26 
// Spanish CultureInfo 
CultureInfo esC = new CultureInfo("es-ES");
date.ToString("f", esC)        // martes, 19 de enero de 2021 10:26 
date.ToString("d", esC)        // 19/01/2021 
date.ToString("t", esC)        // 10:26 

    

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: 1 d: 19 
// Force time format to use ':' as separator ()
string.Format("{0:HH':'mm}", date)                  // 10:26

TOOL: Test you format string

A simple tool for test your format string.

string.Format("
", DateTime.Now)