[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)   // 2/21/2020
// Long date:
string.Format("{0:D}", date)   // Friday, February 21, 2020 
// Short time:
string.Format("{0:t}", date)   // 7:59 PM
// Long time:
string.Format("{0:T}", date)   // 7:59:30 PM
// Full date/time (short time):
string.Format("{0:f}", date)   // Friday, February 21, 2020 7:59 PM
// Full date/time (long time):
string.Format("{0:F}", date)   // Friday, February 21, 2020 7:59:30 PM
// General  date/time (long time):
string.Format("{0:g}", date)   // 2/21/2020 7:59 PM
// General  date/time (long time):
string.Format("{0:G}", date)   // 2/21/2020 7:59:30 PM
// Sortable date/time:
string.Format("{0:s}", date)   // 2020-02-21T19:59:30

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)   // 02/21/2020
string.Format("{0:MMMM dd, yyyy}", date)// February 21, 2020
string.Format("{0:MMM yyyy}", date)     // Feb 2020
string.Format("{0:hh:mm tt}", date)     // 07:59 PM

// Year patterns:
string.Format("{0:yy yyy yyyy}", date)  // 20 2020 2020
// Month patterns:
string.Format("{0:MM MMM MMMM}", date)  // 02 Feb February
// Day patterns:
string.Format("{0:dd ddd dddd}", date)  // 21 Fri Friday
// Hour
string.Format("{0:hh HH tt}", date)     // 07 19 PM
// Minute, second, second fraction 
string.Format("{0:mm ss ffff}", date)   // 59 30 0585

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)        // Friday, 21 February 2020 19:59 
date.ToString("d", invC)        // 02/21/2020 
date.ToString("t", invC)        // 19:59 
// German CultureInfo 
CultureInfo deC = new CultureInfo("de-De");
date.ToString("f", deC)        // Freitag, 21. Februar 2020 19:59 
date.ToString("d", deC)        // 21.02.2020 
date.ToString("t", deC)        // 19:59 
// French CultureInfo 
CultureInfo frC = new CultureInfo("fr-FR");
date.ToString("f", frC)        // vendredi 21 février 2020 19:59 
date.ToString("d", frC)        // 21/02/2020 
date.ToString("t", frC)        // 19:59 
// Spanish CultureInfo 
CultureInfo esC = new CultureInfo("es-ES");
date.ToString("f", esC)        // viernes, 21 de febrero de 2020 19:59 
date.ToString("d", esC)        // 21/02/2020 
date.ToString("t", esC)        // 19:59 

    

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: 2 d: 21 
// Force time format to use ':' as separator ()
string.Format("{0:HH':'mm}", date)                  // 19:59

TOOL: Test you format string

A simple tool for test your format string.

string.Format("
", DateTime.Now)