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Life, the Universe, and Everything

collective.prettydate is a package that helps developers to solve some usability issues associated with the utilization of absolute date formating on sites used among different timezones.

When a date is printed as "01/02/2012" it could represent "February 1" or "January 2", depending on the format used. Also, if the site is located on a different timezone, it could take you to situations when today's date is printed as yesterday, or tomorrow's date.

collective.prettydate represents a date on a relative format so it would be displayed as "4 hours ago", "yesterday" or "last week", which is easier to read and understand for most people.

This feature is really nice for news sites or sites with upcoming events.

Mostly Harmless

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Got an idea? Found a bug? Let us know by opening a support ticket.

Don't Panic

This product provides a utility which will convert a DateTime object into a human readable text.

from zope.component import getUtility
from collective.prettydate.interfaces import IPrettyDate
date_utility = getUtility(IPrettyDate)

At this point, you can use the 'date' method to convert the DateTime object:

from DateTime import DateTime
today = DateTime()
str_date =

In previous example, 'str_date' will be "now"

The 'date' method also allows 2 additional parameters: 'short' and 'asdays' which will modify the output to be in short format ('h' instead of 'hours', 'd' instead of 'days', etc) and whole days (it will use 'today' instead of any amount of seconds, minutes or hours for current day). They both default to "False".


If your server timezone is configured correctly, and the DateTime object contains valid timezone info, then the text output will reflect the correct time. You do not need to convert date and time between different timezones.

Output examples

  • '4 hours ago'
  • '4h ago' (short format)
  • 'in 28 minutes'
  • 'in 6 months'
  • 'today'
  • 'last week'
  • 'yesterday'
  • 'last year'

DateTime 3.0

collective.prettydate is fully compatible with DateTime 3.0 which provides a significantly smaller memory footprint.

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