Returns a string formatted according to the given format string using the given integer timestamp or the current local time if no timestamp is given. In other words, timestamp is optional and defaults to the value of time().
The format of the outputted date string. See the formatting options below.
Table 1. The following characters are recognized in the format parameter string
|format character||Description||Example returned values|
|d||Day of the month, 2 digits with leading zeros||01 to 31|
|D||A textual representation of a day, three letters||Mon through Sun|
|j||Day of the month without leading zeros||1 to 31|
|l (lowercase 'L')||A full textual representation of the day of the week||Sunday through Saturday|
|N||ISO-8601 numeric representation of the day of the week (added in PHP 5.1.0)||1 (for Monday) through 7 (for Sunday)|
|S||English ordinal suffix for the day of the month, 2 characters||st, nd, rd or th. Works well with j|
|w||Numeric representation of the day of the week||0 (for Sunday) through 6 (for Saturday)|
|z||The day of the year (starting from 0)||0 through 365|
|W||ISO-8601 week number of year, weeks starting on Monday (added in PHP 4.1.0)||Example: 42 (the 42nd week in the year)|
|F||A full textual representation of a month, such as January or March||January through December|
|m||Numeric representation of a month, with leading zeros||01 through 12|
|M||A short textual representation of a month, three letters||Jan through Dec|
|n||Numeric representation of a month, without leading zeros||1 through 12|
|t||Number of days in the given month||28 through 31|
|L||Whether it's a leap year||1 if it is a leap year, 0 otherwise.|
|o||ISO-8601 year number. This has the same value as Y, except that if the ISO week number (W) belongs to the previous or next year, that year is used instead. (added in PHP 5.1.0)||Examples: 1999 or 2003|
|Y||A full numeric representation of a year, 4 digits||Examples: 1999 or 2003|
|y||A two digit representation of a year||Examples: 99 or 03|
|a||Lowercase Ante meridiem and Post meridiem||am or pm|
|A||Uppercase Ante meridiem and Post meridiem||AM or PM|
|B||Swatch Internet time||000 through 999|
|g||12-hour format of an hour without leading zeros||1 through 12|
|G||24-hour format of an hour without leading zeros||0 through 23|
|h||12-hour format of an hour with leading zeros||01 through 12|
|H||24-hour format of an hour with leading zeros||00 through 23|
|i||Minutes with leading zeros||00 to 59|
|s||Seconds, with leading zeros||00 through 59|
|e||Timezone identifier (added in PHP 5.1.0)||Examples: UTC, GMT, Atlantic/Azores|
|I (capital i)||Whether or not the date is in daylight saving time||1 if Daylight Saving Time, 0 otherwise.|
|O||Difference to Greenwich time (GMT) in hours||Example: +0200|
|P||Difference to Greenwich time (GMT) with colon between hours and minutes (added in PHP 5.1.3)||Example: +02:00|
|T||Timezone setting of this machine||Examples: EST, MDT ...|
|Z||Timezone offset in seconds. The offset for timezones west of UTC is always negative, and for those east of UTC is always positive.||-43200 through 43200|
|c||ISO 8601 date (added in PHP 5)||2004-02-12T15:19:21+00:00|
|r||RFC 2822 formatted date||Example: Thu, 21 Dec 2000 16:01:07 +0200|
|U||Seconds since the Unix Epoch (January 1 1970 00:00:00 GMT)||See also time()|
Unrecognized characters in the format string will be printed as-is. The Z format will always return 0 when using gmdate().
Returns a formatted date string. If a non-numeric value is used for timestamp, FALSE is returned and an E_WARNING level error is emitted.
|5.1.0||The valid range of a timestamp is typically from Fri, 13 Dec 1901 20:45:54 GMT to Tue, 19 Jan 2038 03:14:07 GMT. (These are the dates that correspond to the minimum and maximum values for a 32-bit signed integer). However, before PHP 5.1.0 this range was limited from 01-01-1970 to 19-01-2038 on some systems (e.g. Windows).|
|5.1.1||There are useful constants of standard date/time formats that can be used to specify the format parameter.|
Example 1. date() examples
You can prevent a recognized character in the format string from being expanded by escaping it with a preceding backslash. If the character with a backslash is already a special sequence, you may need to also escape the backslash.
It is possible to use date() and mktime() together to find dates in the future or the past.
Example 3. date() and mktime()example
Note: This can be more reliable than simply adding or subtracting the number of seconds in a day or month to a timestamp because of daylight saving time.
Some examples of date() formatting. Note that you should escape any other characters, as any which currently have a special meaning will produce undesirable results, and other characters may be assigned meaning in future PHP versions. When escaping, be sure to use single quotes to prevent characters like \n from becoming newlines.
Example 4. date() Formatting
Note: To generate a timestamp from a string representation of the date, you may be able to use strtotime(). Additionally, some databases have functions to convert their date formats into timestamps (such as MySQL's UNIX_TIMESTAMP function).
Tip: Timestamp of the start of the request is available in $_SERVER['REQUEST_TIME'] since PHP 5.1.