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Java in a Nutshell

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The java.text Package

29.18 java.text.SimpleDateFormat (JDK 1.1)

This is the concrete Format subclass used by DateFormat to handle formatting and parsing of dates. Most applications should not use this class directly--instead, they should obtain a localized DateFormat object by calling one of the static methods of DateFormat.

SimpleDateFormat formats dates and times according to a pattern, which specifies the positions of the various fields of the date, and a DateFormatSymbols object, which specifies important auxiliary data, such as the names of months. Applications that require highly customized date or time formatting can create a custom SimpleDateFormat object by specifying the desired pattern. This creates a SimpleDateFormat object that uses the DateFormatSymbols object for the default locale. You may also specify a locale explicitly to use the DateFormatSymbols object for that locale. Or, you can even provide an explicit DateFormatSymbols object of your own, if you need to format dates and times for an unsupported locale.

You can use the applyPattern() method of a SimpleDateFormat to change the formatting pattern used by the object. The syntax of this pattern is described in the following table. Any characters in the format string that do not appear in this table appear literally in the formatted date.

Field Full Form Short Form
Year yyyy (4 digits) yy (2 digits)
Month MMM (name) MM (2 digits), M (1 or 2 digits)
Day of week EEEE EE
Day of month dd (2 digits) d (1 or 2 digits)
Hour (1-12) hh (2 digits) h (1 or 2 digits)
Hour (0-23) HH (2 digits) H (1 or 2 digits)
Hour (0-11) KK K
Hour (1-24) kk k
Minute mm  
Second ss  
Millisecond SSS  
AM/PM a  
Time zone zzzz zz
Day of week in month F (e.g., 3rd Thursday)  
Day in year DDD (3 digits) D (1, 2, or 3 digits)
Week in year ww
Era (e.g., BC/AD) G  

public class SimpleDateFormat extends DateFormat {
    // Public Constructors
            public SimpleDateFormat();
            public SimpleDateFormat(String pattern);
            public SimpleDateFormat(String pattern, Locale loc);
            public SimpleDateFormat(String pattern, DateFormatSymbols formatData);
    // Public Instance Methods
            public void applyLocalizedPattern(String pattern);
            public void applyPattern(String pattern);
            public Object clone();  // Overrides DateFormat
            public boolean equals(Object obj);  // Overrides DateFormat
            public StringBuffer format(Date date, StringBuffer toAppendTo, FieldPosition pos);  // Defines DateFormat
            public DateFormatSymbols getDateFormatSymbols();
            public int hashCode();  // Overrides DateFormat
            public Date parse(String text, ParsePosition pos);  // Defines DateFormat
            public void setDateFormatSymbols(DateFormatSymbols newFormatSymbols);
            public String toLocalizedPattern();
            public String toPattern();


Object->Format(Serializable, Cloneable)->DateFormat(Cloneable)->SimpleDateFormat

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