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Current date as character vector





The date function returns text that represents the current date. However, it is recommended that you use datetime values to represent points in time. To return the current date as a datetime value, use the datetime('today') syntax. Then convert the datetime value to text by using the char, cellstr, or string functions.

c = date returns the current date as a character vector in the format dd-MMM-yyyy.

This format represents the day of the month (dd) as a number, the month name (MMM) as its three-letter abbreviation, and the year (yyyy) as a number.


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To return the current date as a character vector, use the date function.

c = date
c = 


  • date always returns the English abbreviation for the month name. The function does not take your system locale into account when determining the month name.

  • MATLAB® Online™ determines the current date from Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) rather than from local time.


  • As an alternative, use the datetime function to represent the current date.

    d = datetime('today')

    The datetime function takes your locale into account. Also, you can specify the format that a datetime array uses to represent its values.

Extended Capabilities

Version History

Introduced before R2006a