Thank you for purchasing through links and ads on this site.
OWC / MacSales.com...
diglloyd Deal Finder...
Buy other stuff at Amazon.com...
Up to 1527MB/s sustained performance

How to Change Date and Time Formats for Ease of Viewing

Last updated 2013-01-10 - Send Feedback
Related: how-to, How To

The display of dates and times sometimes can be an impediment to a quick visual scan by introducing a jumble of mixed-width fields.

I have my own preferences and perhaps you do too.

There are several system defaults that either are not to my liking or actively interfere with some things I need to know:

  • No seconds on file modification times, which matters to me especially when doing performance tests.
  • 24 hour time.
  • Jumbled dates of varying widths and styles, making it difficult to scan visually.

Example — Finder listing

I like my dates and times as YYYY-MM-DD HH:MM:SS as shown below. This consistent format is easy to scan visually, because the chosen format lines up neatly in columns.

Having the seconds shown can also be useful for image sequences from a camera.

Date and time format as YYYY-MM-DD HH:MM:SS
OS X Finder date and time format from the Language & Text control panel

Customizing date and time display

Open System Preferences, then choose Language & Text, then click on the Region tab. Here you can customize the date format and time format.

Most applications respect these settings, so once configured on your system, most applications all into line in their own display of date and time.

Shown below is how I prefer to setup my system— nice and predictable, and 24 hour time with seconds.

OS X Language & Text control panel allowing customization of date and time

Customizing the date format

I like my file dates as YYYY-MM-DD (e.g., 2013-01-10) the same way I prefix folder names of images that I shoot. Also, this format always sorts properly when used as a prefix, so I like to see it that way when displayed also.

When customizing, watch out for spaces between the numbers; remove them or you’ll have gaps between the numbers.

Customizing the way the date is displayed
OS X Language & Text control panel

Customizing the time format

I prefer 24 hour time with seconds, and always with two digits as in HH:MM:SS.

When customizing, watch out for spaces between the numbers; remove them or you’ll have gaps between the numbers.

Customizing the way the time is displayed
OS X Language & Text control panel
Durable and fast, up to 1800MB/s
B&H Deal ZoneDeals by Brand/Category/Savings
Deals expire in 79 min unless noted. Certain deals may last longer.
$999 SAVE $700 = 41.0% $101 FREE ITEMS Canon EOS 6D DSLR in Cameras: DSLR
$649 SAVE $250 = 27.0% $20 FREE ITEMS Canon EOS 77D DSLR in Cameras: DSLR
$1049 SAVE $450 = 30.0% $20 FREE ITEMS Canon EOS 77D DSLR with 18-135mm USM in Cameras: DSLR
$1349 SAVE $450 = 25.0% $20 FREE ITEMS Canon EOS 7D Mark II DSLR in Cameras: DSLR
$1299 SAVE $500 = 27.0% $101 FREE ITEMS Canon EOS 80D DSLR with 18-135mm in Cameras: DSLR
$229 SAVE $170 = 42.0% $99 FREE ITEMS Dracast CamLux Max Bi-Color 3-Light Kit in All Other Categories
$7 SAVE $10 = 58.0% Joby Action Grip in Video: Camcorders
$2497 SAVE $470 = 15.0% $468 FREE ITEMS Nikon D500 DSLR with 16-80mm in Cameras: DSLR
$1497 SAVE $500 = 25.0% $466 FREE ITEMS Nikon D750 DSLR in Cameras: DSLR
$1997 SAVE $1100 = 35.0% $466 FREE ITEMS Nikon D750 DSLR with 24-120mm in Cameras: DSLR
$1747 SAVE $570 = 24.0% $61 FREE ITEMS Nikon D7500 DSLR with 16-80mm in Cameras: DSLR
$3297 SAVE $800 = 19.0% $556 FREE ITEMS Nikon D810 DSLR with 24-120mm in Cameras: DSLR
$1697 SAVE $200 = 10.0% Pentax K-1 DSLR in Cameras: DSLR
$599 SAVE $200 = 25.0% Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 AF in Lenses: DSLR
$100 SAVE $100 = 50.0% Sachtler Dr. Bag - 3 in All Other Categories
$1998 SAVE $400 = 16.0% Sony a7R II Mirrorless in Cameras: Mirrorless
$368 SAVE $80 = 17.0% Sony DSC-RX100 in Cameras: Point and Shoot
$648 SAVE $100 = 13.0% $37 FREE ITEMS Sony DSC-RX100 III in Cameras: Point and Shoot
$300 SAVE $160 = 34.0% $9 FREE ITEMS Steiner 8x32 XC Binocular in All Other Categories
$790 SAVE $400 = 33.0% Teradek COLR in Computers: Peripherals
$1399 SAVE $100 = 6.0% ZEISS 18mm f/2.8 Batis in Lenses: Mirrorless

diglloyd.com | Terms of Use | PRIVACY POLICY
Contact | About Lloyd Chambers | Consulting | Photo Tours
Mailing Lists | RSS Feeds | Twitter
Copyright © 2008-2017 diglloyd Inc, all rights reserved.
Display info: __RETINA_INFO_STATUS__