Data formats

Data formats depict different types of numeric and linguistic data.


Date and time

Time and date formats

The date and time may be formatted in the following ways: Date or time When and how to use Example Time Within the current day,...

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The date and time may be formatted in the following ways:

Date or time

When and how to use

Example

Time

Within the current day, use uppercase AM or PM, without periods (or lowercase am/pm, if suitable for the locale).

2:00 PM

24-hour clock

Display the time without AM/PM.

14:00

Month, day, and year

Show the date with the year. If it’s within the current calendar year, don’t show the year.

January 14
14 January 2012

Approximate time

Round down to the largest and most recent date or time.

In 5 minutes
3 days ago

Absolute time

When approximate time isn’t appropriate, display the specific date or time.

Today, 10:00 AM

Time and date ranges

To display a date or time range, show an en dash (without spaces) between a range of dates or times. For example: 8:00 AM–12:30 PM...

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To display a date or time range, show an en dash (without spaces) between a range of dates or times.

For example:
8:00 AM–12:30 PM
6 Jan–2 Feb

Add spaces when spelling out months, or to remove ambiguity.

Range

When and how to use

Example

Year

Date ranges are formatted based on whether the range covers the same year or the current year:

  • Show the year on both the start and end
  • If both dates have the current year, show the year only on the end of the range

Dec 6, 2013–Jan 2, 2014
January 4–6, 2014

AM/PM

Use a single AM or PM at the end of the range, if both times have the same AM/PM.

8:00–10:30 AM

Time zones

As time zones vary across regions, time zone usage should be specific. Types of time zones Description Example Single-digit hours Remove the leading 0 for...

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As time zones vary across regions, time zone usage should be specific.

Types of time zones

Description

Example

Single-digit hours

Remove the leading 0 for single-digit hours.

UTC+5:00

Single times zones

Use two-letter time zones when referring to a single time zone. Remove the S (for Standard) or D (for Daylight).

Open 4–10 PM ET

Combination time zones

When specifying a date for a nationwide audience, include Standard or Daylight acronyms (such as EDT) to avoid confusion. Some U.S. states, such as Arizona, don't use daylight savings time.

The first game is on April 13, 2015 at 4 PM EDT.

When to show date and time

Depending on the context, show either date or time, or both date and time. Time period When and how to use Example Future Include time...

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Depending on the context, show either date or time, or both date and time.

Time period

When and how to use

Example

Future

Include time to a future day or date.

10 Jan, 08:00

Past

When referring to a past time, display both date and time.

Reminded Jan 5, 7:16 AM

Distant past

For events in the distant past, omit the time.

3 Jan

Weekday

When referring to a day of the week, display the abbreviated day separated by a comma.

Mon, Jan 10, 8:00 AM

Duration

Show the duration of a recording, like audio or video, in the format H:MM:SS. Omit hours or seconds if they don’t apply.

Use the same format across the same context. A video labelled “3:15” referring to hours and minutes, should not use that time format later on that page to refer to minutes and seconds.

0:30
1:01:05

Abbreviations

Use abbreviations when space is limited. Unit of time Description Example Month Months can be abbreviated or numeric. Jan 6 3/12/12 Date The US date...

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Use abbreviations when space is limited.

Unit of time

Description

Example

Month

Months can be abbreviated or numeric.

Jan 6
3/12/12

Date

The US date format is month/day/year, but other countries use day/month/year.

If the date March 12, 2012 is written as 03/12/12, it could be interpreted to mean December 3, 2012 for different users.

Day

Abbreviate days of the week using the first letter of each day.

S for Sunday
M for Monday

Day and time

Abbreviated days of the week may be combined with a time.

Sun, 2:00 PM
Sun, 14:00

Rounded numbers

You can use abbreviated numerical units, which remove the “:00,” for timestamps, labels on graphs, durations, and more.

8 AM
2 hr 32 min ago

Talking about date and time

Display date and time information as people normally speak to each other, when space is available. This helps users understand what the date or time...

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Display date and time information as people normally speak to each other, when space is available. This helps users understand what the date or time is for, such as: “Store open 9:00 AM–Midnight” or “Reminder for tomorrow afternoon.”

  • Refer to “yesterday” or “tomorrow” in those terms
  • If the day is in the upcoming week, include the day of the week (such as Tuesday)

Data redaction

Data redaction and truncation refers to how to represent truncated numbers and disguise sensitive data.

Redacting numbers

Midline ellipses [• • •] are bulleted characters that partially hide sensitive data. They indicate when a number, such as a credit card or Social...

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Midline ellipses [• • •] are bulleted characters that partially hide sensitive data. They indicate when a number, such as a credit card or Social Security number, is not entirely visible.

When to use 3 ellipses

To redact most numbers, like Social Security numbers, use three midline ellipses [• • •].

SSN • • • 5678

Do.

You can use this format across typefaces and platforms:
1. Place two regular spaces before the first midline ellipse.
2. Then add a thin space between each midline ellipse and after the final one.

Or, use the Unicode string instead: U0020,U0020,U2022,U2006,U2022,U2006,U2022,U2006

When to use 4 ellipses

Credit and debit card data must be redacted using four midline ellipses [• • • •].

Written in Unicode:
U0020,U0020,U2022,U2006,U2022,U2006,U2022,
U2006,U2022,U2006

Visa • • • • 1234

Do.

Ellipses for credit card redaction

Redacting letters

Baseline ellipses [...] represent letters, words, or phrases that aren’t shown. They also represent when a name or email address is only partially visible. Type...

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Baseline ellipses [...] represent letters, words, or phrases that aren’t shown. They also represent when a name or email address is only partially visible.

Usage

Type the ellipses as three periods in a row (or Unicode character U2026) after the last letter shown.

PayPal krestovozdvizhensky@goog…

Do.

Redacted email address with three baseline ellipses.