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2 February 2023

[edit] [purge] Template documentation

NOTE: For dates formatted with the #time parser function, see https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Help:Extension:ParserFunctions#.23time.


This template converts a date to one of the standard date formats used on LIMSwiki.

This template should only be used internally in other templates.

If you want sortable dates for a table, use {{date table sorting}} instead.


This template takes up to two parameters, both of which are optional:

{{date|<date to be formatted>|<date formatting style>}}

  • <date to be formatted> is an (optional) date to be formatted.
    If no date is specified, the template emits the current date.
    For example, {{date}} produces 2 February 2023. To avoid emitting the current date if none is input, use Template:fdate.
    If a date is provided, but is not recognized as one, the text is just returned as is. Most dates will however be recognized as such, including all the formats typically used on LIMSwiki. Numerous variations thereof are also supported, including abbreviated or lower-case month names; ordinal "st", "nd", "rd", "th"; extraneous white space; missing comma, etc.
    • Some dates are converted even if they are not real dates, and some dates are not converted even though they are real dates. See known issues below.
    • Only dates within the range 1 January 1000 and 31 December 9999 are supported. Dates with two-digit years will have the years from 1970 to 2069. Other dates outside the range 1000–9999 will be treated as if the second parameter were "none".
    • when using month numbers in numeric, the valid formats are MM/DD/YYYY, DD-MM-YYYY, DD.MM.YYYY, YYYY/MM/DD, YYYY-MM-DD, MM/DD/YY, YY-MM-DD, DD.MM.YY, the invalid formats are DD/MM/YYYY, MM-DD-YYYY, MM.DD.YY, YYYY.MM.DD, MM.DD.YYYY, DD-MM-YY, YY/MM/DD, DD/MM/YY, YY.MM.DD
  • <date formatting style> controls the date format in which the result is to be emitted. Recognized values for the second parameter are:
    • DMY gives d mmmm yyyy (e.g. 31 May 2007). This is the default format.
    • MDY gives mmmm d, yyyy (e.g. May 31, 2007)
    • YMD gives yyyy mmmm d (e.g. 2007 May 31)
    • ISO gives an ISO 8601 style yyyy-mm-dd (e.g. 2007-05-31)
    • none applies no formatting whatsoever
    If a date to be formatted is provided but no style is specified, the template emits a date in "d month yyyy" format, as it appears (for example) on discussion pages. When no date is specified, then the current date is emitted with no year, either in "d month" format for formatting style DMY, or in "month d" format for formatting styles MDY, YMD and ISO.
    • Although these are the four formats supported by MediaWiki's date autoformatting mechanism, only DMY/lDMY and MDY/lMDY are in accordance with LIMSwiki's recommended style. The use of ISO/lISO (ISO 8601) format within article prose is expressly discouraged by the Manual of Style; this format should only be used in tables, lists, or references.
    • In each case, the result is exactly the same as what would be emitted by MediaWiki's date autoformatting mechanism.
      However, dates are not manipulated by MediaWiki's date autoformatting mechanism even when linked. This permits dates to have a consistent appearance regardless of whether they are linked or not.
    • LIMSwiki caches the current version of pages, and the template may display the date that the page was cached, rather than the current date.


With valid input

Format Input Output
not specified {{date|2006-08-04}} 4 August 2006
{{date|Aug 4, 2006}} 4 August 2006
{{date|4 August 2006}} 4 August 2006
{{date|4 August}} 4 August
{{date|Aug 4}} 4 August
{{date|}} 2 February (missing year)
{{date}} 2 February 2023
{{date|2=}} 2 February 2023
DMY format {{date|2006-08-04|DMY}} 4 August 2006
{{date|Aug 4, 2006|DMY}} 4 August 2006
{{date|4 August 2006|DMY}} 4 August 2006
{{date|4 August|DMY}} 4 August
{{date|Aug 4|DMY}} 4 August
{{date||DMY}} 2 February (missing year)
{{date|2=DMY}} 2 February 2023
{{date|{{date}}|DMY}} 2 February 2023
MDY format {{date|2006-08-04|MDY}} August 4, 2006
{{date|Aug 4, 2006|MDY}} August 4, 2006
{{date|4 August 2006|MDY}} August 4, 2006
{{date|4 August|MDY}} August 4
{{date|Aug 4|MDY}} August 4
{{date||MDY}} February 2 (missing year)
{{date|2=MDY}} February 2, 2023
{{date|{{date}}|MDY}} February 2, 2023
YMD format {{date|2006-08-04|YMD}} 2006 August 4
{{date|Aug 4, 2006|YMD}} 2006 August 4
{{date|4 August 2006|YMD}} 2006 August 4
{{date|4 August|YMD}} August 4
{{date|Aug 4|YMD}} August 4
{{date||YMD}} February 2 (missing year)
{{date|2=YMD}} 2023 February 2
{{date|{{date}}|YMD}} 2023 February 2
ISO format {{date|2006-08-04|ISO}} 2006-08-04
{{date|Aug 4, 2006|ISO}} 2006-08-04
{{date|4 August 2006|ISO}} 2006-08-04
{{date|4 August|ISO}} --08-04
{{date|Aug 4|ISO}} --08-04
{{date|{{#time: --m-d}}|ISO}} --02-02 (missing year)
{{date|2=ISO}} 2023-02-02
{{date|{{date}}|ISO}} 2023-02-02
none format {{date|2006-08-04|none}} 2006-08-04
{{date|Aug 4, 2006|none}} Aug 4, 2006
{{date|4 August 2006|none}} 4 August 2006
{{date|4 August|none}} 4 August
{{date|Aug 4|none}} Aug 4
{{date||none}} (blank)
{{date|2=none}} (blank)
{{date|{{date}}|none}} 2 February 2023

Other acceptable input

A wide variety of other input formats are handled correctly by the template:

Input Output
{{date|1st December 2008}} (ordinal 'st') 1 December 2008
{{date|June 24 2006}} (missing comma) 24 June 2006
{{date|24 june 2006}} (lowercase month name) 24 June 2006
{{date|24 jun}} (abbreviated month name) 24 June
{{date|June 2006}} June 2006
{{date|2006 June}} 1 June 2006
{{date|05/31/2012}} 31 May 2012
{{date|31-05-2012}} 31 May 2012

Invalid input

Input strings that the template cannot format are returned unaltered. This includes strings containing characters such as square brackets, so any links will result in unformatted output.

Input Output
{{date|23007-031-24}} 23007-031-24
{{date|[[1 December]] [[2008]]|YMD}} 1 December 2008
{{date|1 December [[2008 in film|2008]]|MDY}} 1 December 2008
{{date|2008 December 1|DMY}} 2008 December 1 (expected: 1 December 2008)
{{date|2008 December 1|MDY}} 2008 December 1 (expected: December 1, 2008)
{{date|2008 December 1|ISO}} 2008 December 1 (expected: 2008-12-01)
{{date|June 2006|ISO}} June 2006 (missing day, expected: 2006-06--)
{{date|--08-24}} --08-24
{{date|-08-24}} 2 February 2023
{{date|08-24}} 08-24
{{date|2006-08--}} 2006-08--
{{date|2006-08-}} 2006-08-
{{date|32 Aug}} 32 Aug
{{date|932 Aug}} 932 Aug
{{date|0932 Aug}} 0932 Aug
{{date|Aug 32}} Aug 32
{{date|Aug 932}} Aug 932
{{date|Aug 0932}} Aug 0932
{{date|31/05/2012}} 31/05/2012 (expected 31 May 2012)
{{date|05-31-2012}} 05-31-2012 (expected 31 May 2012)

Known issues

Out-of-range values are "fixed"
  • The PHP library, that this template ultimately depends on, converts out-of-range values to the next-best in-range values. As a result, some date-like values that are not actually valid dates get converted anyway. These include...
    • all dates with zero day-of-the-month. Such a "zero-th" day of a month gets converted into the last day of the previous month.
      For example, {{date|June 0, 2006}} results in 31 May 2006.
      Similarly, {{date|0 January 2006}} becomes 31 December 2005.
    • all dates with day-number values that exceed the number of days in the specified month cause the date to be incremented into the next month.
      For example, {{date|31 November 2008}} results in 1 December 2008, since November has only 30 days.
      Similarly, {{date|February 29, 2007}} results in 1 March 2007, since 2007 was not a leap year.
      Note: Due to a parser peculiarity in the PHP library, 'December 32' and '32 December' are treated differently, and the latter results in an error (which causes this template to emit it unchanged), and only the former "overflows" into the next month.
Non-Gregorian dates are treated as Gregorian
  • The PHP library that this template ultimately depends on assumes that all dates, irrespective of context, are Gregorian calendar dates. Consequently:
    • some dates that would be valid in a non-Gregorian context are treated as out-of-range dates and converted to the next-best in-range values. For example, {{date|30 February 1712}} results in 1 March 1712 because – even though 30 February 1712 is a valid date in the Swedish calendar – February 1712 had only 29 days in the Gregorian calendar.
    • ten dates are not reformatted. These are 29 February & 1 March of the years 1000, 1100, 1300, 1400, 1500. The cause of this is the same as that of the Swedish 30 February 1712.
    • some dates that would not be valid in some contexts are converted normally. For example, 29 February 1912 or 1 February 1918 are not valid in a Russian context, but perfectly valid in the Gregorian one.
ISO 8601 format not suitable for years before 1583

The ISO 8601 standard requires mutual agreement between those using the format to use years earlier than 1583. Since no agreement has been obtained from our readers, that format should not be used for such years, nor for any date not in the Gregorian calendar.

Output provided for ISO dates when year is missing

The current 2004 version of ISO 8601 does not permit omitting the year, but this template will produce a supposedly ISO output when the year is missing.

Does not provide Microformats

Converts dates into a format used on LIMSwiki

Template parameters


Date to be formatted

Jan 1, 2007

Controls the date format for the result