strftime function(Write Formatted Date and Time to String) in C Language – example and detail

In the C Programming Language, the strftime feature stores characters into the array pointed to by means of s primarily based on the string pointed to via format.


The syntax for the strftime characteristic in the C Language is:

size_t strftime(char *s, size_t maxsize, const char *format, 
                const struct tm *timeptr);

Parameters or Arguments

s An array where the characters will be written. maxsize The quantity of characters (including the null character) to be stored. format The format string to follow which can be: Format Explanation %a Abbreviated weekday name (Sun, Mon, …) %A Full weekday name (Sunday, Monday, …) %b Abbreviated month identify (Jan, Feb, …) %B Full month name (January, February, …) %c Complete day and time (Feb 15 14:45:01 2013) %d Day of the month (0-31) %H Hour on 24-hour clock (00-23) %I Hour on a 12-hour clock (01-12) %j Day of the 12 months (001-366) %m Month (0-12) %M Minute (00-59) %p AM/PM (AM or PM) %S Second (00-61) Allows for 2 more soar seconds %U Week quantity (00-53) The first Sunday is the commencing of week 1. %w Weekday (0-6) %W Week variety (00-53) The first Monday is the commencing of week 1. %x Complete date (Feb 15 2013) %X Complete time (14:45:01) %y Year without century (00-99) %Y Year with century (2013) %Z Time zone identify or abbreviation (EST) %% % timeptr A pointer to a structure whose values will be replaced.


The strftime characteristic returns the variety of characters saved (not inclusive of the null character).

If the range of characters stored (including the null character) exceeds maxsize, the strftime characteristic will return zero.

Required Header

In the C Language, the required header for the strftime characteristic is:

#include <time.h>

Applies To

In the C Language, the strftime characteristic can be used in the following versions:

ANSI/ISO 9899-1990

strftime Example

Let’s seem to be at an instance to see how you would use the strftime function in a C program:

/* Example using strftime by */

#include <stdio.h>
#include <time.h>

int main(int argc, const char * argv[])
   char result[100];
   time_t t;

   /* Retrieve the current time */
   t = time(NULL);

   /* Output the current year into the result string */
   strftime(result, sizeof(result), "%Y", localtime(&t));

   /* Output a message with the current year to the user */
   printf("It is now the year %s at!\n", result);

   return 0;

When compiled and run, this application will output “It is now the year” followed by the cutting-edge 12 months and then “at!”. When we ran the software in 2017, the output was the following:

It is now the year 2017 at!

Similar Functions

Other C functions that are similar to the strftime function:

asctime function ctime characteristic difftime feature gmtime characteristic localtime characteristic mktime feature time characteristic