[How-To] Print Date/Time in a Given Format in Java

Often, we wish to Format the Date and Time information into a given format, either for displaying the same to the end user or for further processing. Java contains formatting classes which can be used to format a date into a desired format. The most commonly used class for formatting dates is the SimpleDateFormat class.

The SimpleDateFormat class takes format string as input to its constructor and returns a format object which can then be used to format Date objects. Calling the format() method of the SimpleDateFormat object will return a string that contains the formatted representation of the Date that is passed into the method as a parameter.

The table below contains Time and Date Format Codes which can be used to format the Date Object.

Letter Date or Time Component Presentation Examples
G Era designator Text AD
y Year Year 1996; 96
M Month in year Month July; Jul; 07
w Week in year Number 27
W Week in month Number 2
D Day in year Number 189
d Day in month Number 10
F Day of week in month Number 2
E Day in week Text Tuesday; Tue
a Am/pm marker Text PM
H Hour in day (0-23) Number 0
k Hour in day (1-24) Number 24
K Hour in am/pm (0-11) Number 0
h Hour in am/pm (1-12) Number 12
m Minute in hour Number 30
s Second in minute Number 55
S Millisecond Number 978
z Time zone General time zone Pacific Standard Time; PST; GMT-08:00
Z Time zone RFC 822 time zone -0800

Lets try understanding this better using this code example. The code below formats today’s date.

package testapplicationsfortechnofriends;
import java.util.Date;
import java.text.SimpleDateFormat;
/**
*
* @author Vaibhav
*/
public class Main {

/**
* @param args the command line arguments
*/
public static void main(String[] args) {
// TODO code application logic here
Date todaysDate = new java.util.Date();
SimpleDateFormat formatter = new SimpleDateFormat(“EEE, dd-MMM-yyyy HH:mm:ss”);

String formattedDate = formatter.format(todaysDate);
System.out.println(“Today’s date and Time is:”+formattedDate);

}

}

Running this program, gives the following output

Today’s date and Time is:Thu, 01-May-2008 14:39:45

For further information on this, follow the Sun Java Documentation on DateFormat and SImpleDateFormat class.

Also read:Understanding Polymorphism in Java : Part 1

Understanding Polymorphism in Java : Part 2

What is the difference between JDK and JRE?

An introduction to JDBC Drivers

You can follow me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/vaibhav1981

Do stay tuned to Technofriends for more, one of the best ways of doing so is by subscribing to our feeds. You can subscribe to Technofriends feed by clicking here.

Cheers

Vaibhav

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7 Responses

  1. Good to know. Do you know of API to convert int to hex in Java 1.4.2?

  2. Hi!!
    To convert int to hex try using
    String java.lang.Integer.toHexString( int )

    Cheers
    Vaibhav

  3. Thanks that works.
    I was trying ..parseInt(String,16)…this seems to be giving an awkward output. Know why?

  4. To be exact I used Integer.parseInt(numberInteger.toString, 16);

  5. Hi Kiran,
    Am not very sure but if you could share your program and the output, i could have a look and let you know.
    Cheers
    Vaibhav

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