Standard TimeSpan Format Strings

A standard TimeSpan format string uses a single format specifier to define the text representation of a TimeSpan value that results from a formatting operation. Any format string that contains more than one character, including white space, is interpreted as a custom TimeSpan format string. For more information, see Custom TimeSpan Format Strings .

The string representations of TimeSpan values are produced by calls to the overloads of the TimeSpan.ToString method, as well as by methods that support composite formatting, such as String.Format. For more information, see Formatting Types and Composite Formatting. The following example illustrates the use of standard format strings in formatting operations.

using System;

public class Example
{
   public static void Main()
   {
      TimeSpan duration = new TimeSpan(1, 12, 23, 62);
      string output = "Time of Travel: " + duration.ToString("c");
      Console.WriteLine(output);

      Console.WriteLine("Time of Travel: {0:c}", duration); 
   }
}
// The example displays the following output: 
//       Time of Travel: 1.12:24:02 
//       Time of Travel: 1.12:24:02

Standard TimeSpan format strings are also used by the TimeSpan.ParseExact and TimeSpan.TryParseExact methods to define the required format of input strings for parsing operations. (Parsing converts the string representation of a value to that value.) The following example illustrates the use of standard format strings in parsing operations.

using System;

public class Example
{
   public static void Main()
   {
      string value = "1.03:14:56.1667";
      TimeSpan interval;
      try {
         interval = TimeSpan.ParseExact(value, "c", null);
         Console.WriteLine("Converted '{0}' to {1}", value, interval);
      }   
      catch (FormatException) {
         Console.WriteLine("{0}: Bad Format", value);
      }   
      catch (OverflowException) {
         Console.WriteLine("{0}: Out of Range", value);
      }

      if (TimeSpan.TryParseExact(value, "c", null, out interval))
         Console.WriteLine("Converted '{0}' to {1}", value, interval);
      else
         Console.WriteLine("Unable to convert {0} to a time interval.", 
                           value);
   }
}
// The example displays the following output: 
//       Converted '1.03:14:56.1667' to 1.03:14:56.1667000 
//       Converted '1.03:14:56.1667' to 1.03:14:56.1667000

The following table lists the standard time interval format specifiers.

Format specifier

Name

Description

Examples

"c"

Constant (invariant) format

This specifier is not culture-sensitive. It takes the form [-][d’.’]hh’:’mm’:’ss[‘.’fffffff].

(The "t" and "T" format strings produce the same results.)

More information: The Constant ("c") Format Specifier.

TimeSpan.Zero -> 00:00:00

New TimeSpan(0, 0, 30, 0) -> 00:30:00

New TimeSpan(3, 17, 25, 30, 500) -> 3.17:25:30.5000000

"g"

General short format

This specifier outputs only what is needed. It is culture-sensitive and takes the form [-][d’:’]h’:’mm’:’ss[.FFFFFFF].

More information: The General Short ("g") Format Specifier.

New TimeSpan(1, 3, 16, 50, 500) -> 1:3:16:50.5 (en-US)

New TimeSpan(1, 3, 16, 50, 500) -> 1:3:16:50,5 (fr-FR)

New TimeSpan(1, 3, 16, 50, 599) -> 1:3:16:50.599 (en-US)

New TimeSpan(1, 3, 16, 50, 599) -> 1:3:16:50,599 (fr-FR)

"G"

General long format

This specifier always outputs days and seven fractional digits. It is culture-sensitive and takes the form [-]d’:’hh’:’mm’:’ss.fffffff.

More information: The General Long ("G") Format Specifier.

New TimeSpan(18, 30, 0) -> 0:18:30:00.0000000 (en-US)

New TimeSpan(18, 30, 0) -> 0:18:30:00,0000000 (fr-FR)

The "c" format specifier returns the string representation of a TimeSpan value in the following form:

[-][d.]hh:mm:ss[.fffffff]

Elements in square brackets ([ and ]) are optional. The period (.) and colon (:) are literal symbols. The following table describes the remaining elements.

Element

Description

-

An optional negative sign, which indicates a negative time interval.

d

The optional number of days, with no leading zeros.

hh

The number of hours, which ranges from "00" to "23".

mm

The number of minutes, which ranges from "00" to "59".

ss

The number of seconds, which ranges from "0" to "59".

fffffff

The optional number of milliseconds, which ranges from "0010000" to "9990000".

Unlike the "g" and "G" format specifiers, the "c" format specifier is not culture-sensitive. It produces the string representation of a TimeSpan value that is invariant and that is common to all previous versions of the .NET Framework before the .NET Framework 4. "c" is the default TimeSpan format string; the TimeSpan.ToString() method formats a time interval value by using the "c" format string.

Note Note

TimeSpan also supports the "t" and "T" standard format strings, which are identical in behavior to the "c" standard format string.

The following example instantiates two TimeSpan objects, uses them to perform arithmetic operations, and displays the result. In each case, it uses composite formatting to display the TimeSpan value by using the "c" format specifier.

using System;

public class Example
{
   public static void Main()
   {
      TimeSpan interval1, interval2;
      interval1 = new TimeSpan(7, 45, 16);
      interval2 = new TimeSpan(18, 12, 38);

      Console.WriteLine("{0:c} - {1:c} = {2:c}", interval1, 
                        interval2, interval1 - interval2);
      Console.WriteLine("{0:c} + {1:c} = {2:c}", interval1, 
                        interval2, interval1 + interval2);

      interval1 = new TimeSpan(0, 0, 1, 14, 365);
      interval2 = TimeSpan.FromTicks(2143756);  
      Console.WriteLine("{0:c} + {1:c} = {2:c}", interval1, 
                        interval2, interval1 + interval2);
   }
}
// The example displays the following output: 
//       07:45:16 - 18:12:38 = -10:27:22 
//       07:45:16 + 18:12:38 = 1.01:57:54 
//       00:01:14.3650000 + 00:00:00.2143756 = 00:01:14.5793756

Back to table

The "g" TimeSpan format specifier returns the string representation of a TimeSpan value in a compact form by including only the elements that are necessary. It has the following form:

[-][d:]h:mm:ss[.FFFFFFF]

Elements in square brackets ([ and ]) are optional. The colon (:) is a literal symbol. The following table describes the remaining elements.

Element

Description

-

An optional negative sign, which indicates a negative time interval.

d

The optional number of days, with no leading zeros.

h

The number of hours, which ranges from "0" to "23", with no leading zeros.

mm

The number of minutes, which ranges from "00" to "59"..

ss

The number of seconds, which ranges from "00" to "59"..

.

The fractional seconds separator. It is equivalent to the specified culture's NumberDecimalSeparator property without user overrides.

FFFFFFF

The fractional seconds. As few digits as possible are displayed.

Like the "G" format specifier, the "g" format specifier is localized. Its fractional seconds separator is based on either the current culture or a specified culture's NumberDecimalSeparator property.

The following example instantiates two TimeSpan objects, uses them to perform arithmetic operations, and displays the result. In each case, it uses composite formatting to display the TimeSpan value by using the "g" format specifier. In addition, it formats the TimeSpan value by using the formatting conventions of the current system culture (which, in this case, is English - United States or en-US) and the French - France (fr-FR) culture.

using System;
using System.Globalization;

public class Example
{
   public static void Main()
   {
      TimeSpan interval1, interval2;
      interval1 = new TimeSpan(7, 45, 16);
      interval2 = new TimeSpan(18, 12, 38);

      Console.WriteLine("{0:g} - {1:g} = {2:g}", interval1, 
                        interval2, interval1 - interval2);
      Console.WriteLine(String.Format(new CultureInfo("fr-FR"), 
                        "{0:g} + {1:g} = {2:g}", interval1, 
                        interval2, interval1 + interval2));

      interval1 = new TimeSpan(0, 0, 1, 14, 36);
      interval2 = TimeSpan.FromTicks(2143756);      
      Console.WriteLine("{0:g} + {1:g} = {2:g}", interval1, 
                        interval2, interval1 + interval2);
   }
}
// The example displays the following output: 
//       7:45:16 - 18:12:38 = -10:27:22 
//       7:45:16 + 18:12:38 = 1:1:57:54 
//       0:01:14.036 + 0:00:00.2143756 = 0:01:14.2503756

Back to table

The "G" TimeSpan format specifier returns the string representation of a TimeSpan value in a long form that always includes both days and fractional seconds. The string that results from the "G" standard format specifier has the following form:

[-]d:hh:mm:ss.fffffff

Elements in square brackets ([ and ]) are optional. The colon (:) is a literal symbol. The following table describes the remaining elements.

Element

Description

-

An optional negative sign, which indicates a negative time interval.

d

The number of days, with no leading zeros.

hh

The number of hours, which ranges from "00" to "23".

mm

The number of minutes, which ranges from "00" to "59".

ss

The number of seconds, which ranges from "00" to "59".

.

The fractional seconds separator. It is equivalent to the specified culture's NumberDecimalSeparator property without user overrides.

fffffff

The fractional seconds.

Like the "G" format specifier, the "g" format specifier is localized. Its fractional seconds separator is based on either the current culture or a specified culture's NumberDecimalSeparator property.

The following example instantiates two TimeSpan objects, uses them to perform arithmetic operations, and displays the result. In each case, it uses composite formatting to display the TimeSpan value by using the "G" format specifier. In addition, it formats the TimeSpan value by using the formatting conventions of the current system culture (which, in this case, is English - United States or en-US) and the French - France (fr-FR) culture.

using System;
using System.Globalization;

public class Example
{
   public static void Main()
   {
      TimeSpan interval1, interval2;
      interval1 = new TimeSpan(7, 45, 16);
      interval2 = new TimeSpan(18, 12, 38);

      Console.WriteLine("{0:G} - {1:G} = {2:G}", interval1, 
                        interval2, interval1 - interval2);
      Console.WriteLine(String.Format(new CultureInfo("fr-FR"), 
                        "{0:G} + {1:G} = {2:G}", interval1, 
                        interval2, interval1 + interval2));

      interval1 = new TimeSpan(0, 0, 1, 14, 36);
      interval2 = TimeSpan.FromTicks(2143756);      
      Console.WriteLine("{0:G} + {1:G} = {2:G}", interval1, 
                        interval2, interval1 + interval2);
   }
}
// The example displays the following output: 
//       0:07:45:16.0000000 - 0:18:12:38.0000000 = -0:10:27:22.0000000 
//       0:07:45:16,0000000 + 0:18:12:38,0000000 = 1:01:57:54,0000000 
//       0:00:01:14.0360000 + 0:00:00:00.2143756 = 0:00:01:14.2503756

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