Skip to contents

Format input values to time duration values whether those input values are numbers or of the difftime class. We can specify which time units any numeric input values have (as weeks, days, hours, minutes, or seconds) and the output can be customized with a duration style (corresponding to narrow, wide, colon-separated, and ISO forms) and a choice of output units ranging from weeks to seconds.


  input_units = NULL,
  output_units = NULL,
  duration_style = c("narrow", "wide", "colon-sep", "iso"),
  trim_zero_units = TRUE,
  max_output_units = NULL,
  pattern = "{x}",
  use_seps = TRUE,
  sep_mark = ",",
  force_sign = FALSE,
  locale = NULL,
  output = c("auto", "plain", "html", "latex", "rtf", "word")



A numeric vector.


If one or more selected columns contains numeric values, a keyword must be provided for input_units for gt to determine how those values are to be interpreted in terms of duration. The accepted units are: "seconds", "minutes", "hours", "days", and "weeks".


Controls the output time units. The default, NULL, means that gt will automatically choose time units based on the input duration value. To control which time units are to be considered for output (before trimming with trim_zero_units) we can specify a vector of one or more of the following keywords: "weeks", "days", "hours", "minutes", or "seconds".


A choice of four formatting styles for the output duration values. With "narrow" (the default style), duration values will be formatted with single letter time-part units (e.g., 1.35 days will be styled as "1d 8h 24m). With "wide", this example value will be expanded to "1 day 8 hours 24 minutes" after formatting. The "colon-sep" style will put days, hours, minutes, and seconds in the "([D]/)[HH]:[MM]:[SS]" format. The "iso" style will produce a value that conforms to the ISO 8601 rules for duration values (e.g., 1.35 days will become "P1DT8H24M").


Provides methods to remove output time units that have zero values. By default this is TRUE and duration values that might otherwise be formatted as "0w 1d 0h 4m 19s" with trim_zero_units = FALSE are instead displayed as "1d 4m 19s". Aside from using TRUE/FALSE we could provide a vector of keywords for more precise control. These keywords are: (1) "leading", to omit all leading zero-value time units (e.g., "0w 1d" -> "1d"), (2) "trailing", to omit all trailing zero-value time units (e.g., "3d 5h 0s" -> "3d 5h"), and "internal", which removes all internal zero-value time units (e.g., "5d 0h 33m" -> "5d 33m").


If output_units is NULL, where the output time units are unspecified and left to gt to handle, a numeric value provided for max_output_units will be taken as the maximum number of time units to display in all output time duration values. By default, this is NULL and all possible time units will be displayed. This option has no effect when duration_style = "colon-sep" (only output_units can be used to customize that type of duration output).


A formatting pattern that allows for decoration of the formatted value. The value itself is represented by {x} and all other characters are taken to be string literals.


An option to use digit group separators. The type of digit group separator is set by sep_mark and overridden if a locale ID is provided to locale. This setting is TRUE by default.


The mark to use as a separator between groups of digits (e.g., using sep_mark = "," with 1000 would result in a formatted value of 1,000).


Should the positive sign be shown for positive values (effectively showing a sign for all values except zero)? If so, use TRUE for this option. The default is FALSE, where only negative value will display a minus sign.


An optional locale ID that can be used for formatting the value according the locale's rules. Examples include "en" for English (United States) and "fr" for French (France). The use of a valid locale ID will override any values provided in sep_mark and dec_mark. We can use the info_locales() function as a useful reference for all of the locales that are supported.


The output style of the resulting character vector. This can either be "auto" (the default), "plain", "html", "latex", "rtf", or "word". In knitr rendering (i.e., Quarto or R Markdown), the "auto" option will choose the correct output value


A character vector.

Output units for the colon-separated duration style

The colon-separated duration style (enabled when duration_style = "colon-sep") is essentially a clock-based output format which uses the display logic of chronograph watch functionality. It will, by default, display duration values in the (D/)HH:MM:SS format. Any duration values greater than or equal to 24 hours will have the number of days prepended with an adjoining slash mark. While this output format is versatile, it can be changed somewhat with the output_units option. The following combinations of output units are permitted:

  • c("minutes", "seconds") -> MM:SS

  • c("hours", "minutes") -> HH:MM

  • c("hours", "minutes", "seconds") -> HH:MM:SS

  • c("days", "hours", "minutes") -> (D/)HH:MM

Any other specialized combinations will result in the default set being used, which is c("days", "hours", "minutes", "seconds")


Let's create a difftime-based vector for the next few examples:

difftimes <-
    lubridate::ymd(c("2015-06-25", "2016-03-07", "2017-01-10"))

Using vec_fmt_duration() with its defaults provides us with a succinct vector of formatted durations.


#> [1] "81w 3d" "44w 6d" "5d"

We can elect to use just only the time units of days to describe the duration values.

vec_fmt_duration(difftimes, output_units = "days")

#> [1] "570d" "314d" "5d"

We can also use numeric values in the input vector vec_fmt_duration(). Here's a numeric vector for use with examples:

num_vals <- c(3.235, 0.23, 0.005, NA)

The necessary thing with numeric values as an input is defining what time unit those values have.

vec_fmt_duration(num_vals, input_units = "days")

#> [1] "3d 5h 38m 23s" "5h 31m 12s" "7m 12s" "NA"

We can define a set of output time units that we want to see.

  input_units = "days",
  output_units = c("hours", "minutes")

#> [1] "77h 38m" "5h 31m" "7m" "NA"

There are many duration 'styles' to choose from. We could opt for the "wide" style.

  input_units = "days",
  duration_style = "wide"

#> [1] "3 days 5 hours 38 minutes 23 seconds"
#> [2] "5 hours 31 minutes 12 seconds"
#> [3] "7 minutes 12 seconds"
#> [4] "NA"

We can always perform locale-specific formatting with vec_fmt_duration(). Let's attempt the same type of duration formatting as before with the "nl" locale.

  input_units = "days",
  duration_style = "wide",
  locale = "nl"

#> [1] "3 dagen 5 uur 38 minuten 23 seconden"
#> [2] "5 uur 31 minuten 12 seconden"
#> [3] "7 minuten 12 seconden"
#> [4] "NA"

Function ID