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Posted 10 Jul 2006

Easy String to DateTime, DateTime to String and Formatting

, 28 Aug 2007
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Easy String to DateTime, DateTime to String and formatting


In the few years that I have been a software developer, I have work with plenty of different programming languages. The first thing that causes you headaches in all of those languages are dates and how to work with them. In this little tutorial, I would like to show you how to work with dates in C# .NET 2.0.

String to DateTime

// String to DateTime
String MyString;
MyString = "1999-09-01 21:34 PM";
//MyString = "1999-09-01 21:34 p.m.";  //Depends on your regional settings

DateTime MyDateTime;
MyDateTime = new DateTime();
MyDateTime = DateTime.ParseExact(MyString, "yyyy-MM-dd HH:mm tt",

DateTime to String

//DateTime to String
MyDateTime = new DateTime(1999, 09, 01, 21, 34, 00);
String MyString;
MyString = MyDateTime.ToString("yyyy-MM-dd HH:mm tt");

Format String For Dates

Your format string is your most important key. In most of my projects, I make it a constant and then refer to the constant value in my code.

The following is the most commonly used format characters:

d - Numeric day of the month without a leading zero.
dd - Numeric day of the month with a leading zero.
ddd - Abbreviated name of the day of the week.
dddd - Full name of the day of the week.

f,ff,fff,ffff,fffff,ffffff,fffffff - 
	Fraction of a second. The more Fs the higher the precision.

h - 12 Hour clock, no leading zero.
hh - 12 Hour clock with leading zero.
H - 24 Hour clock, no leading zero.
HH - 24 Hour clock with leading zero.

m - Minutes with no leading zero.
mm - Minutes with leading zero.

M - Numeric month with no leading zero.
MM - Numeric month with a leading zero.
MMM - Abbreviated name of month.
MMMM - Full month name.

s - Seconds with no leading zero.
ss - Seconds with leading zero.

t - AM/PM but only the first letter. 
tt - AM/PM ( a.m. / p.m.)

y - Year with out century and leading zero.
yy - Year with out century, with leading zero.
yyyy - Year with century.

zz - Time zone off set with +/-.


I hope that this helped a bit, even if it is only as a reference to create new format strings. (Always handy!!!:))

For more information, please visit my site.


This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The Code Project Open License (CPOL)


About the Author

Bertus Kruger
Web Developer
New Zealand New Zealand
No Biography provided

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Comments and Discussions

QuestionConversion issue Pin
ziaulh14hrs 58mins ago
memberziaulh14hrs 58mins ago 
AnswerRe: Conversion issue Pin
Manuele Camilletti13hrs 52mins ago
professionalManuele Camilletti13hrs 52mins ago 
GeneralMy vote of 4 Pin
Heriberto Lugo12-Oct-14 14:19
memberHeriberto Lugo12-Oct-14 14:19 
GeneralMy vote of 1 Pin
josephmundadan4-Aug-14 11:56
memberjosephmundadan4-Aug-14 11:56 
GeneralRe: My vote of 1 Pin
warnerlego10-Oct-14 20:17
memberwarnerlego10-Oct-14 20:17 
GeneralMy vote of 3 Pin
luckyrockstar50518-Jul-14 3:10
memberluckyrockstar50518-Jul-14 3:10 
GeneralWorks perfectly Pin
Member 83423408-Apr-13 4:40
memberMember 83423408-Apr-13 4:40 
GeneralGood one. Pin
bilal7869917-Mar-13 22:01
memberbilal7869917-Mar-13 22:01 
QuestionAbout time zone Pin
Romain TAILLANDIER20-Nov-12 23:24
memberRomain TAILLANDIER20-Nov-12 23:24 
QuestionDatetimepicker culture Pin
Raghavendra Rao 55819-Nov-12 1:51
memberRaghavendra Rao 55819-Nov-12 1:51 
GeneralMy vote of 5 Pin
small219-Sep-12 21:04
membersmall219-Sep-12 21:04 
GeneralMy vote of 5 Pin
Menon Santosh23-Jan-12 23:47
memberMenon Santosh23-Jan-12 23:47 
NewsIts been years... Pin
Marcel Valdez6-Jul-11 14:07
memberMarcel Valdez6-Jul-11 14:07 
GeneralNice Pin
adriancs6-Jun-11 5:57
memberadriancs6-Jun-11 5:57 
GeneralThanx Pin
rudedevil0913-May-11 21:09
memberrudedevil0913-May-11 21:09 
QuestionWhat about this? Pin
Ali Taghvajou6-Apr-11 1:58
memberAli Taghvajou6-Apr-11 1:58 
GeneralMy vote of 5 Pin
Phillip Quinlan12-Sep-10 19:38
memberPhillip Quinlan12-Sep-10 19:38 
Generalthaks Pin
mahmoud_samour27-Feb-10 22:56
membermahmoud_samour27-Feb-10 22:56 
GeneralIt was usefull. Pin
Member 166707124-Feb-10 8:07
memberMember 166707124-Feb-10 8:07 
GeneralThankyou :) Pin
Mcdonger12-Feb-10 12:38
memberMcdonger12-Feb-10 12:38 
General10x Pin
hadaryona15-Sep-09 5:22
memberhadaryona15-Sep-09 5:22 
Generalit does not work Pin
Yakovb30-Jul-08 7:07
memberYakovb30-Jul-08 7:07 
GeneralRe: it does not work Pin
Bertus Kruger30-Jul-08 13:40
memberBertus Kruger30-Jul-08 13:40 
QuestionException Pin
Soumini Ramakrishnan7-Apr-08 21:35
memberSoumini Ramakrishnan7-Apr-08 21:35 
AnswerRe: Exception Pin
ishakkulekci24-Jun-08 21:34
memberishakkulekci24-Jun-08 21:34 

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