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[edit] Template documentation

Dts stands for Date Table Sorting and is used to correctly sort and display dates in a sortable table (see Help:Sorting).

What it solves[edit source]

Normally, for proper sorting, dates must be entered in YYYY-MM-DD format. However, that format does not conform to the Manual of Style for date display. This template automatically creates the hidden <span style="display:none">1776-07-04</span> for sorting purposes and then displays the date like this: July 4, 1776. To hide the output, use the {{dtsh}} template instead.

Parameters[edit source]

The year, month and day can either be entered separately or as a single date.
{{dts|year|month|day|BC}} {{dts|date}}
  • 1st parameter – Year (optional if month is given)
    • Year number – number in the range -9999 through 9999: the numbers -9999 through 0 are used without "bc" and represent astronomical years -9999 through 0, the numbers 1 through 9999 represent that year AD, or BC with the fourth parameter set to bc or BC
  • 2nd parameter – Month (optional if the day is not given either)
    • Full month name – February or february
    • Abbreviated month name – Feb or feb
    • Month number – 2 or 02
  • 3rd parameter – Day (optional)
    • Day number – 7 or 07
  • 4th parameter – optional with value BC or bc
    • Used with a positive year number

Thus e.g. for the year 5 BC we can use "5|bc" or "-4".

A time period (year or month and year) is sorted according to its start, and time periods with the same starting moment are in order of descending length: a year comes before its first month; a month comes before its first day.

  • 1st parameter – the full date in international, US or YYYY-MM-DD format
    • It uses {{#time:}} and so is limited to what the parser function can handle (e.g. it won't go beyond 100 AD).
    • International format is left as it is. YYYY-MM-DD format defaults to US format.
    • Abbreviated months are accepted.
    • Capitalisation and comma mistakes are corrected.

Input[edit source]


  • {{dts|1776|July|4}}


  • {{dts|1776-07-04}}
  • {{dts|July 4, 1776}}
  • {{dts|4 July 1776}}

When supplying a single parameter for the date, it is accepted and interpreted according to the php date/time format, except that a single number is interpreted as a year. By default the date is shown as supplied. If the first parameter is not just the year, but no format parameter is supplied, due to a call of function #time the maximum number of calls of this template on a page is 1200.

Using format produces a format that depends on, but is not necessarily equal to the format of the supplied date. This requires multiple calls of function #time, reducing the maximum number of calls of this template on a page in the worst case to 88, see below.

Also see the examples below.

Output[edit source]

Output sent to table

  • <span style="display:none">01776-07-04</span> July 4, 1776 or
  • <span style="display:none">01776-07-04</span> 4 July 1776

Output displayed to user

  • July 4, 1776 or
  • 4 July 1776

Linking[edit source]

The template formerly linked dates automatically. To turn linking off the parameter link=off was used. In accordance with current guidelines linking is no longer supported. Please do not use this parameter. Please remove it from existing transclusions.

Examples[edit source]

Normal function of the template. The template with debug=yes, which causes hidden parts to appear:



Abbreviating the month name[edit source]

The template displays the name of the month either in abbreviated form or fully spelt out. There are two ways of controlling which is used.

  1. Directly input the desired format.
  2. Use the abbr parameter.

Note that the method to use is determined by the input. The first method works wherever the second method fails and only in these cases. The following explains which method to use.

All numeric input

If the month is input as a number, the default is to spell it out in full.

  • {{dts|2000-01-01}} gives "January 1, 2000"
  • {{dts|2000|1|1}} gives "January 1, 2000"

In this case the month can be abbreviated by setting abbr to on.

  • {{dts|2000-01-01|abbr=on}} gives "Jan 1, 2000"
  • {{dts|2000|1|1|abbr=on}} gives "Jan 1, 2000"
Entering a non-numeric month as the second unnamed parameter

The name of the month either in abbreviated form or fully spelt out when input as the second unnamed parameter. In either case the output form is equivalent to the input form.

The whole date as a single parameter with a non-numeric month

The if the whole date is entered as a single parameter with a non-numeric month, the default is to display the date as input. In this case either abbreviate or fully spelt out he name of the month as desired.

Using the format parameter overrides this default behaviour and the month name is spelt out in full by default. In this case the month can be abbreviated by setting abbr to on.

Error handling[edit source]

Entering an invalid date format will (generally) produce an error message such as the one below.

Error: 35 June 1900
This is not an acceptable date format. Please check the spelling, numbers, and/or read the documentation at template {{dts}} for correct date input.

See also[edit source]

  • {{dtsh}}, hides the template's output
  • {{TBA}}, allows quarters, and allows sorting of time periods by end date.
  • m:Template:dts (backlinks, edit), since on Meta e.g. 09999 9999 induces numeric sort mode, "&" is prefixed to force string sort mode.
  • {{dts1}}
  • {{dts vgr}}, for video game release dates.
  • {{sort}}, sorting by a specified key
  • {{sortname}}, full name sorting.
  • {{tts}}, for sorting times in result tables of athletic events (only needed in certain cases - see template documentation)
  • {{mss}}, for sorting times in tables of eclipses