How to render a DateTime in a specific format in ASP.NET MVC 3?

If I have in my model class a property of type DateTime how can I render it in a specific format - for example in the format which ToLongDateString() returns?

I have tried this...

@Html.DisplayFor(modelItem => item.MyDateTime.ToLongDateString())

...which throws an exception because the expression must point to a property or field. And this...

@{var val = item.MyDateTime.ToLongDateString();
  Html.DisplayFor(modelItem => val);

...which doesn't throw an exception, but the rendered output is empty (although val contains the expected value, as I could see in the debugger).

Thanks for tips in advance!


ToLongDateString is only an example. What I actually want to use instead of ToLongDateString is a custom extension method of DateTime and DateTime?:

public static string FormatDateTimeHideMidNight(this DateTime dateTime)
    if (dateTime.TimeOfDay == TimeSpan.Zero)
        return dateTime.ToString("d");
        return dateTime.ToString("g");

public static string FormatDateTimeHideMidNight(this DateTime? dateTime)
    if (dateTime.HasValue)
        return dateTime.Value.FormatDateTimeHideMidNight();
        return "";

So, I think I cannot use the DisplayFormat attribute and DataFormatString parameter on the ViewModel properties.


If all you want to do is display the date with a specific format, just call:

@String.Format(myFormat, Model.MyDateTime)

Using @Html.DisplayFor(...) is just extra work unless you are specifying a template, or need to use something that is built on templates, like iterating an IEnumerable<T>. Creating a template is simple enough, and can provide a lot of flexibility too. Create a folder in your views folder for the current controller (or shared views folder) called DisplayTemplates. Inside that folder, add a partial view with the model type you want to build the template for. In this case I added /Views/Shared/DisplayTemplates and added a partial view called ShortDateTime.cshtml.

@model System.DateTime


And now you can call that template with the following line:

@Html.DisplayFor(m => m.MyDateTime, "ShortDateTime")

You could decorate your view model property with the [DisplayFormat] attribute:

[DisplayFormat(DataFormatString = "{0:dd/MM/yyyy}", 
               ApplyFormatInEditMode = true)]
public DateTime MyDateTime { get; set; }

and in your view:

@Html.EditorFor(x => x.MyDate)

or, for displaying the value,

@Html.DisplayFor(x => x.MyDate)

Another possibility, which I don't recommend, is to use a weakly typed helper:

@Html.TextBox("MyDate", Model.MyDate.ToLongDateString())

Simple formatted output inside of the model

@String.Format("{0:d}", model.CreatedOn)

or in the foreach loop

@String.Format("{0:d}", item.CreatedOn)

I use the following approach to inline format and display a date property from the model.

@Html.ValueFor(model => model.MyDateTime, "{0:dd/MM/yyyy}")

Otherwise when populating a TextBox or Editor you could do like @Darin suggested, decorated the attribute with a [DisplayFormat] attribute.

If all your DateTime types are rendered the same way you can use a custom DateTime display template.

In your Views folder create a folder named "DisplayTemplates" either under your controller specific views folder, or under "Shared" folder (these work similar to partials).

Inside create a file named DateTime.cshtml that takes DateTime as the @model and code how you want to render your date:

@model System.DateTime

Now you can just use this in your views and it should work:

@Html.DisplayFor(mod => mod.MyDateTime)

As long as you follow the convention of adding it to the "DisplayTemplates" folder and naming the file to match the type your are displaying, MVC will automatically use that to display your values. This also works for editing scenarios using "EditorTemplates".

Here's some more information on templates.

My preference is to keep the formatting details with the view and not the viewmodel. So in MVC4/Razor:

@Html.TextBoxFor(model => model.DateTime, "{0:d}");

datetime format reference:

Then I have a JQuery datepicker bound to it, and that put's the date in as a different format...doh!

Looks like I need to set the datepicker's format to the same formatting.

So I'm storing the System.Globalization formatting in a data-* attribute and collecting it when setting up the

    model => model.DateTime.Date, 
        @class = "datePicker", 

And here's the sucky part: the formats of .net and datepicker do not match, so hackery is needed:


that's kind of weak, but should cover a lot of cases.

works for me


Had the same problem recently.

I discovered that simply defining DataType as Date in the model works as well (using Code First approach)

public DateTime Added { get; set; }

you can do like this @item.Date.Value.Tostring("dd-MMM-yy");

if I just want to display the date in short format I just use and it prints the date in

If all you want to do is display the date with a specific format, just call:



It will result in following format,



this will display in dd/MM/yyyy format in your View

In View:

instead of DisplayFor use this code


@(item.Startdate.HasValue ? item.Startdate.Value.ToString("dd/MM/yyyy") : "Date is Empty")


it also checks if the value is null in date column, if true then it will display Date is Empty or the actual formatted date from the column.

Hope helps someone.

  string datein = Convert.ToDateTime(item.InDate).ToString("dd/MM/yyyy");        

In MVC5 I'd use, if your model is the datetime

string dt = Model.ToString("dd/MM/yyy"); 

Or if your model contains the property of the datetime

string dt = Model.dateinModel.ToString("dd/MM/yyy"); 

Here's the official meaning of the Formats:

Only View File Adjust like this. You may try this.

@Html.FormatValue( (object)Convert.ChangeType(item.transdate, typeof(object)), 
                            "{0: yyyy-MM-dd}")

item.transdate it is your DateTime type data.

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