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MS Access: Format Function (with Dates)

Learn how to use the Access Format function (as it applies to date values) with syntax and examples.

Description

The Microsoft Access Format function takes a date expression and returns it as a formatted string.

Syntax

The syntax for the Microsoft Access Format function is:

Format ( expression, [ format, [ firstdayofweek, [firstweekofyear] ] ] )

Parameters or Arguments

expression is the value to format.

format is optional. It is the format to apply to the expression. You can either define your own format or use one of the named formats that Access has predefined such as:

Format Explanation
General Date Displays date based on your system settings
Long Date Displays date based on your system's long date setting
Medium Date Displays date based on your system's medium date setting
Short Date Displays date based on your system's short date setting
Long Time Displays time based on your system's long time setting
Medium Time Displays time based on your system's medium time setting
Short Time Displays time based on your system's short time setting

firstdayofweek is optional. It is a value that specifies the first day of the week. If this parameter is omitted, the Format function assumes that Sunday is the first day of the week. This parameter can be one of the following values:

Constant Value Explanation
vbUseSystem 0 Uses the NLS API setting
VbSunday 1 Sunday (default, if parameter is omitted)
vbMonday 2 Monday
vbTuesday 3 Tuesday
vbWednesday 4 Wednesday
vbThursday 5 Thursday
vbFriday 6 Friday
vbSaturday 7 Saturday

firstweekofyear is optional. It is a value that specifies the first week of the year. If this parameter is omitted, the Format function assumes that the week that contains January 1 is the first week of the year. This parameter can be one of the following values:

Constant Value Explanation
vbUseSystem 0 Uses the NLS API setting
vbFirstJan1 1 The week that contains January 1
vbFirstFourDays 2 The first week that has at least 4 days in the year
vbFirstFullWeek 3 The first full week of the year

Applies To

The Format function can be used in the following versions of Microsoft Access:

Example

Format (#17/04/2004#, "Short Date") would return '17/04/2004'
Format (#17/04/2004#, "Long Date") would return 'April 17, 2004'
Format (#17/04/2004#, "yyyy/mm/dd") would return '2004/04/17'

Example (in VBA Code)

The Format function can be used in VBA code in Microsoft Access. For example:

Dim LValue As String

LValue = Format (Date, "yyyy/mm/dd")

In this example, the variable called LValue would now contain the date formatted as yyyy/mm/dd.

Example (in SQL/Queries)

You can also use the Format function in a query in Microsoft Access.

Microsoft Access

The results would look something like this:

Microsoft Access