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DateTime.ToString Method (String)

Updated: February 2010

Converts the value of the current DateTime object to its equivalent string representation using the specified format.

Namespace:  System
Assembly:  mscorlib (in mscorlib.dll)

public string ToString(
	string format
)

Parameters

format
Type: System.String

A standard or custom date and time format string.

Return Value

Type: System.String
A string representation of value of the current DateTime object as specified by format.

ExceptionCondition
FormatException

The length of format is 1, and it is not one of the format specifier characters defined for DateTimeFormatInfo.

-or-

format does not contain a valid custom format pattern.

ArgumentOutOfRangeException

The date and time is outside the range of dates supported by the calendar used by the current culture.

The format parameter should contain either a single format specifier character (see Standard Date and Time Format Strings) or a custom format pattern (see Custom Date and Time Format Strings) that defines the format of the returned string. If format is null or an empty string, the general format specifier, "G", is used.

This method uses formatting information derived from the current culture. For more information, see CurrentCulture.

Notes to Callers:

The ToString(String) method returns the string representation of the date and time in the calendar used by the current culture. If the value of the current DateTime instance is earlier than Calendar.MinSupportedDateTime or later than Calendar.MaxSupportedDateTime, the method throws an ArgumentOutOfRangeException. The following example provides an illustration. It attempts to format a date that is outside the range of the HebrewCalendar class when the current culture is Hebrew (Israel).

using System;
using System.Globalization;
using System.Threading;

public class Example
{
   public static void Main()
   {
      DateTime date1 = new DateTime(1550, 7, 21);
      CultureInfo dft;
      CultureInfo heIL = new CultureInfo("he-IL");
      heIL.DateTimeFormat.Calendar = new HebrewCalendar();

      // Change current culture to he-IL.
      dft = Thread.CurrentThread.CurrentCulture;
      Thread.CurrentThread.CurrentCulture = heIL;

      // Display the date using the current culture's calendar.             
      try {
         Console.WriteLine(date1.ToString("G"));
      }   
      catch (ArgumentOutOfRangeException) {
         Console.WriteLine("{0} is earlier than {1} or later than {2}", 
                           date1.ToString("d", CultureInfo.InvariantCulture), 
                           heIL.DateTimeFormat.Calendar.MinSupportedDateTime.ToString("d", CultureInfo.InvariantCulture),  
                           heIL.DateTimeFormat.Calendar.MaxSupportedDateTime.ToString("d", CultureInfo.InvariantCulture)); 
      }

      // Restore the default culture.
      Thread.CurrentThread.CurrentCulture = dft;
   }
}
// The example displays the following output: 
//    07/21/1550 is earlier than 01/01/1583 or later than 09/29/2239

The following example uses each of the standard date and time format strings and a selection of custom date and time format strings to display the string representation of a DateTime value. The thread current culture for the example is en-US.

using System;

public class DateToStringExample
{
   public static void Main()
   {
      DateTime dateValue = new DateTime(2008, 6, 15, 21, 15, 07);
      // Create an array of standard format strings.
      string[] standardFmts = {"d", "D", "f", "F", "g", "G", "m", "o", 
                               "R", "s", "t", "T", "u", "U", "y"};
      // Output date and time using each standard format string. 
      foreach (string standardFmt in standardFmts)
         Console.WriteLine("{0}: {1}", standardFmt, 
                           dateValue.ToString(standardFmt));
      Console.WriteLine();

      // Create an array of some custom format strings.
      string[] customFmts = {"h:mm:ss.ff t", "d MMM yyyy", "HH:mm:ss.f", 
                             "dd MMM HH:mm:ss", @"\Mon\t\h\: M", "HH:mm:ss.ffffzzz" };
      // Output date and time using each custom format string. 
      foreach (string customFmt in customFmts)
         Console.WriteLine("'{0}': {1}", customFmt,
                           dateValue.ToString(customFmt));
   }
}
// This example displays the following output to the console: 
//       d: 6/15/2008 
//       D: Sunday, June 15, 2008 
//       f: Sunday, June 15, 2008 9:15 PM 
//       F: Sunday, June 15, 2008 9:15:07 PM 
//       g: 6/15/2008 9:15 PM 
//       G: 6/15/2008 9:15:07 PM 
//       m: June 15 
//       o: 2008-06-15T21:15:07.0000000 
//       R: Sun, 15 Jun 2008 21:15:07 GMT 
//       s: 2008-06-15T21:15:07 
//       t: 9:15 PM 
//       T: 9:15:07 PM 
//       u: 2008-06-15 21:15:07Z 
//       U: Monday, June 16, 2008 4:15:07 AM 
//       y: June, 2008 
//        
//       'h:mm:ss.ff t': 9:15:07.00 P 
//       'd MMM yyyy': 15 Jun 2008 
//       'HH:mm:ss.f': 21:15:07.0 
//       'dd MMM HH:mm:ss': 15 Jun 21:15:07 
//       '\Mon\t\h\: M': Month: 6 
//       'HH:mm:ss.ffffzzz': 21:15:07.0000-07:00

Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP SP2, Windows XP Media Center Edition, Windows XP Professional x64 Edition, Windows XP Starter Edition, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2000 SP4, Windows Millennium Edition, Windows 98, Windows CE, Windows Mobile for Smartphone, Windows Mobile for Pocket PC, Xbox 360, Zune

The .NET Framework and .NET Compact Framework do not support all versions of every platform. For a list of the supported versions, see .NET Framework System Requirements.

.NET Framework

Supported in: 3.5, 3.0, 2.0, 1.1, 1.0

.NET Compact Framework

Supported in: 3.5, 2.0, 1.0

XNA Framework

Supported in: 3.0, 2.0, 1.0

Date

History

Reason

February 2010

Added exception information and the Notes for Callers section.

Customer feedback.

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