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Format vector values to time values using one of 25 preset time styles. Input can be in the form of POSIXt (i.e., datetimes), character (must be in the ISO 8601 forms of HH:MM:SS or YYYY-MM-DD HH:MM:SS), or Date (which always results in the formatting of 00:00:00).


  time_style = "iso",
  pattern = "{x}",
  locale = NULL,
  output = c("auto", "plain", "html", "latex", "rtf", "word")



A numeric vector.


The time style to use. By default this is "iso" which corresponds to how times are formatted within ISO 8601 datetime values. The other time styles can be viewed using info_time_style().


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 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.

Formatting with the time_style argument

We need to supply a preset time style to the time_style argument. There are many time styles and all of them can handle localization to any supported locale. Many of the time styles are termed flexible time formats and this means that their output will adapt to any locale provided. That feature makes the flexible time formats a better option for locales other than "en" (the default locale).

The following table provides a listing of all time styles and their output values (corresponding to an input time of 14:35:00). It is noted which of these represent 12- or 24-hour time.

Time StyleOutputNotes
1"iso""14:35:00"ISO 8601, 24h
2"iso-short""14:35"ISO 8601, 24h
3"h_m_s_p""2:35:00 PM"12h
4"h_m_p""2:35 PM"12h
5"h_p""2 PM"12h
6"Hms""14:35:00"flexible, 24h
7"Hm""14:35"flexible, 24h
8"H""14"flexible, 24h
9"EHm""Thu 14:35"flexible, 24h
10"EHms""Thu 14:35:00"flexible, 24h
11"Hmsv""14:35:00 GMT+00:00"flexible, 24h
12"Hmv""14:35 GMT+00:00"flexible, 24h
13"hms""2:35:00 PM"flexible, 12h
14"hm""2:35 PM"flexible, 12h
15"h""2 PM"flexible, 12h
16"Ehm""Thu 2:35 PM"flexible, 12h
17"Ehms""Thu 2:35:00 PM"flexible, 12h
18"EBhms""Thu 2:35:00 in the afternoon"flexible, 12h
19"Bhms""2:35:00 in the afternoon"flexible, 12h
20"EBhm""Thu 2:35 in the afternoon"flexible, 12h
21"Bhm""2:35 in the afternoon"flexible, 12h
22"Bh""2 in the afternoon"flexible, 12h
23"hmsv""2:35:00 PM GMT+00:00"flexible, 12h
24"hmv""2:35 PM GMT+00:00"flexible, 12h

We can use the info_time_style() within the console to view a similar table of time styles with example output.


Let's create a character vector of datetime values in the ISO-8601 format for the next few examples:

str_vals <- c("2022-06-13 18:36", "2019-01-25 01:08", NA)

Using vec_fmt_time() (here with the "iso-short" time style) will result in a character vector of formatted times. Any NA values remain as NA values. The rendering context will be autodetected unless specified in the output argument (here, it is of the "plain" output type).

vec_fmt_time(str_vals, time_style = "iso-short")

#> [1] "18:36" "01:08" NA

We can choose from any of 25 different time formatting styles. Many of these styles are flexible, meaning that the structure of the format will adapt to different locales. Let's use the "Bhms" time style to demonstrate this (first in the default locale of "en"):

vec_fmt_time(str_vals, time_style = "Bhms")

#> [1] "6:36:00 in the evening" "1:08:00 at night" NA

Let's perform the same type of formatting in the German ("de") locale:

vec_fmt_time(str_vals, time_style = "Bhms", locale = "de")

#> [1] "6:36:00 abends" "1:08:00 nachts" NA

We can always use info_time_style() to call up an info table that serves as a handy reference to all of the time_style options.

As a last example, one can wrap the time values in a pattern with the pattern argument. Note here that NA values won't have the pattern applied.

  time_style = "hm",
  pattern = "temps: {x}",
  locale = "fr_CA"

#> [1] "temps: 6:36 PM" "temps: 1:08 AM" NA

Function ID