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How To Use the Time Element in HTML5

Published on August 26, 2016 · Updated on September 24, 2020
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    By Alligator.io

    How To Use the Time Element in HTML5


    The <time> element is new to HTML5. It makes it easier to markup time information. Let’s examine some scenarios and use <time> in practice.


    Using the Time Element in HTML5

    <time> allows you to markup date and/or time information in a format that’s easy to understand for both humans and machines. For example, if you want to markup time that’s already in a machine-readable format, you use <time> like this:

      Meet me at <time>11:59</time> at the dock.

    Or, if the date/time information is not machine-readable, you’d mark it up like this with the datetime attribute:

      Last updated
      <time datetime="2015-11-03">
        November 3rd 2015

    The value for the datetime attribute takes one of the following formats:

    • date: YYYY-MM-DD
    • datetime (with time zone): YYYY-MM-DDThh:mm:ss.Z (e.g.: 2016-06-30T03:37:56-0800)
    • datetime-local (no time zone): YYYY-MM-DDThh:mm:ss
    • time: hh:mm:ss
    • month: YYYY-MM

    This is how you can use the new <time> element.


    <time> is an important new element in HTML5.

    For a more comprehensive review of the HTML5 markup language, explore our series, How To Build a Website in HTML.

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