How to Format a Date in JavaScript

Date formatting is a common requirement in web development projects. Whether you need to display a date in a specific format or manipulate dates in JavaScript, it's essential to know how to format a date according to your needs. In this article, we will explore different methods to format a date in JavaScript.

Method 1: Using toLocaleDateString()

The easiest way to format a date in JavaScript is by using the toLocaleDateString() method. This method returns a string representing the date portion of a Date object based on the local time zone.

const date = new Date();
const formattedDate = date.toLocaleDateString();
console.log(formattedDate);  // Output: 7/20/2022 (may vary based on the user's locale)

The output format of toLocaleDateString() is dependent on the user's locale. Different locales have different date formats, such as MM/DD/YYYY or DD/MM/YYYY.

If you want to specify a specific locale or configure the date format, you can pass the options parameter to the toLocaleDateString() method. The options parameter allows you to set various formatting options, such as the date style and the time zone.

const date = new Date();
const options = { year: 'numeric', month: 'short', day: 'numeric' };
const formattedDate = date.toLocaleDateString('en-US', options);
console.log(formattedDate);  // Output: Jul 20, 2022

Method 2: Using moment.js

If you need more control over the date formatting or need to support a wider range of date formats, you can use a popular JavaScript library called moment.js. Moment.js provides a comprehensive set of functions for parsing, validating, manipulating, and formatting dates in JavaScript.

To use moment.js, you first need to include the library in your project. You can either download the library and include it in your HTML file or use a package manager such as npm or yarn to install it.

// Install moment.js using npm
npm install moment
// Use moment.js in your JavaScript code
const moment = require('moment');
const date = new Date();
const formattedDate = moment(date).format('DD-MMM-YYYY');
console.log(formattedDate);  // Output: 20-Jul-2022

Method 3: Using Date Methods

If you prefer not to use a third-party library like moment.js, you can use the built-in Date methods in JavaScript to format the date manually.

For example, you can use the getFullYear(), getMonth(), and getDate() methods to extract the year, month, and day from a Date object and concatenate them to form the desired format.

const date = new Date();
const year = date.getFullYear();
const month = date.getMonth() + 1;  // Month is zero-based, so we add 1
const day = date.getDate();
const formattedDate = day + '-' + month + '-' + year;
console.log(formattedDate);  // Output: 20-7-2022

This method gives you complete control over the date format, but it requires more code and manual manipulation.

Method 4: Using Internationalization API (Intl)

If you need to support multiple languages and want to format the date based on the user's locale, you can use the Internationalization API (Intl) introduced in ECMAScript 5.1.

The Intl API provides a set of constructors for formatting and parsing dates, numbers, and currencies. To format a date, you can use the DateTimeFormat constructor.

const date = new Date();
const formatter = new Intl.DateTimeFormat('en-US', { year: 'numeric', month: 'short', day: 'numeric' });
const formattedDate = formatter.format(date);
console.log(formattedDate);  // Output: Jul 20, 2022

By passing the locale and options parameters to the DateTimeFormat constructor, you can customize the date format according to the user's locale.


In this article, we explored different methods to format a date in JavaScript. Whether you choose to use the built-in toLocaleDateString() method, a popular library like moment.js, or the Date and Intl APIs, you have various options to format a date according to your requirements.

Remember to consider the user's locale and any specific formatting needs when choosing the appropriate method for date formatting. Experiment with different methods and libraries to find the one that best suits your project's needs.