GoLang DateTime::createFromFormat

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PHP DateTime::createFromFormat

PHP original manual for DateTime::createFromFormat [ show | php.net ]



(PHP 5 >= 5.3.0, PHP 7)

DateTime::createFromFormat -- date_create_from_formatParses a time string according to a specified format


Object oriented style

public static DateTime DateTime::createFromFormat ( string $format , string $time [, DateTimeZone $timezone ] )

Procedural style

DateTime date_create_from_format ( string $format , string $time [, DateTimeZone $timezone ] )

Returns a new DateTime object representing the date and time specified by the time string, which was formatted in the given format.



The format that the passed in string should be in. See the formatting options below. In most cases, the same letters as for the date() can be used.

The following characters are recognized in the format parameter string
format character Description Example parsable values
Day --- ---
d and j Day of the month, 2 digits with or without leading zeros 01 to 31 or 1 to 31
D and l A textual representation of a day Mon through Sun or Sunday through Saturday
S English ordinal suffix for the day of the month, 2 characters. It's ignored while processing. st, nd, rd or th.
z The day of the year (starting from 0) 0 through 365
Month --- ---
F and M A textual representation of a month, such as January or Sept January through December or Jan through Dec
m and n Numeric representation of a month, with or without leading zeros 01 through 12 or 1 through 12
Year --- ---
Y A full numeric representation of a year, 4 digits Examples: 1999 or 2003
y A two digit representation of a year (which is assumed to be in the range 1970-2069, inclusive) Examples: 99 or 03 (which will be interpreted as 1999 and 2003, respectively)
Time --- ---
a and A Ante meridiem and Post meridiem am or pm
g and h 12-hour format of an hour with or without leading zero 1 through 12 or 01 through 12
G and H 24-hour format of an hour with or without leading zeros 0 through 23 or 00 through 23
i Minutes with leading zeros 00 to 59
s Seconds, with leading zeros 00 through 59
u Microseconds (up to six digits) Example: 45, 654321
Timezone --- ---
e, O, P and T Timezone identifier, or difference to UTC in hours, or difference to UTC with colon between hours and minutes, or timezone abbreviation Examples: UTC, GMT, Atlantic/Azores or +0200 or +02:00 or EST, MDT
Full Date/Time --- ---
U Seconds since the Unix Epoch (January 1 1970 00:00:00 GMT) Example: 1292177455
Whitespace and Separators --- ---
(space) One space or one tab Example:
# One of the following separation symbol: ;, :, /, ., ,, -, ( or ) Example: /
;, :, /, ., ,, -, ( or ) The specified character. Example: -
? A random byte Example: ^ (Be aware that for UTF-8 characters you might need more than one ?. In this case, using * is probably what you want instead)
* Random bytes until the next separator or digit Example: * in Y-*-d with the string 2009-aWord-08 will match aWord
! Resets all fields (year, month, day, hour, minute, second, fraction and timezone information) to the Unix Epoch Without !, all fields will be set to the current date and time.
| Resets all fields (year, month, day, hour, minute, second, fraction and timezone information) to the Unix Epoch if they have not been parsed yet Y-m-d| will set the year, month and day to the information found in the string to parse, and sets the hour, minute and second to 0.
+ If this format specifier is present, trailing data in the string will not cause an error, but a warning instead Use DateTime::getLastErrors() to find out whether trailing data was present.

Unrecognized characters in the format string will cause the parsing to fail and an error message is appended to the returned structure. You can query error messages with DateTime::getLastErrors().

To include literal characters in format, you have to escape them with a backslash (\).

If format does not contain the character ! then portions of the generated time which are not specified in format will be set to the current system time.

If format contains the character !, then portions of the generated time not provided in format, as well as values to the left-hand side of the !, will be set to corresponding values from the Unix epoch.

The Unix epoch is 1970-01-01 00:00:00 UTC.


String representing the time.


A DateTimeZone object representing the desired time zone.

If timezone is omitted and time contains no timezone, the current timezone will be used.


The timezone parameter and the current timezone are ignored when the time parameter either contains a UNIX timestamp (e.g. 946684800) or specifies a timezone (e.g. 2010-01-28T15:00:00+02:00).

Return Values

Returns a new DateTime instance or FALSE on failure.


Version Description
5.3.9 The + format specifier has been added.


Example #1 DateTime::createFromFormat() example

Object oriented style


Procedural style


The above examples will output:


Example #2 Intricacies of DateTime::createFromFormat()

echo 'Current time: ' date('Y-m-d H:i:s') . "\n";

$format 'Y-m-d';
$date DateTime::createFromFormat($format'2009-02-15');
"Format: $format; " $date->format('Y-m-d H:i:s') . "\n";

$format 'Y-m-d H:i:s';
$date DateTime::createFromFormat($format'2009-02-15 15:16:17');
"Format: $format; " $date->format('Y-m-d H:i:s') . "\n";

$format 'Y-m-!d H:i:s';
$date DateTime::createFromFormat($format'2009-02-15 15:16:17');
"Format: $format; " $date->format('Y-m-d H:i:s') . "\n";

$format '!d';
$date DateTime::createFromFormat($format'15');
"Format: $format; " $date->format('Y-m-d H:i:s') . "\n";

The above example will output something similar to:

Current time: 2010-04-23 10:29:35
Format: Y-m-d; 2009-02-15 10:29:35
Format: Y-m-d H:i:s; 2009-02-15 15:16:17
Format: Y-m-!d H:i:s; 1970-01-15 15:16:17
Format: !d; 1970-01-15 00:00:00

Example #3 Format string with literal characters

echo DateTime::createFromFormat('H\h i\m s\s','23h 15m 03s')->format('H:i:s');

The above example will output something similar to:


See Also