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Formatting TimeSpan in C#

Posted on 2011-03-23
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Last Modified: 2012-06-27
How can I format a Date Difference in C# using timespan.subtract

Here is what I have so far, I need it to return in hh:mi format

If there is an easier way to do it other than timespan im open to it.  I just have to return this to the user in an hh:mi format.  Even (negative times) -hh:mi if the time returned is negative.

Thanks
DateTime startTime = new DateTime(); 
 DateTime endTime = new DateTime();
 TimeSpan conflictDuration = new TimeSpan();

startTime = 03/28/2011 11:45;
endTime =   03/28/2011 1:47;

conflictDuration = endTime.Subtract(startTime);

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Question by:jmpatton
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12 Comments
 
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Accepted Solution

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p_davis earned 500 total points
ID: 35202107
string formatted = endTime.Subtract(startTime).ToString("hh:mm");
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Expert Comment

by:Mike Tomlinson
ID: 35202302
Unfortunately the TimeSpan() class doesn't accept a format in ToString() so you have to manually extract the values and put them together yourself.  =\

Here's one way:
conflictDuration = endTime.Subtract(startTime);
string formatted = (conflictDuration.TotalMilliseconds < 0 ? "-" : "") + Math.Abs(conflictDuration.Hours).ToString("00") + ":" + Math.Abs(conflictDuration.Minutes).ToString("00");
MessageBox.Show(formatted);

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by:p_davis
ID: 35202354
poo, i don't know what the heck i was thinking.
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Expert Comment

by:Mike Tomlinson
ID: 35202378
I've often wondered why they didn't implement a ToString() overload that accepts a format for the TimeSpan...it would make perfect sense to me!  =)
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Expert Comment

by:p_davis
ID: 35202384
it would be hard for a span that was more than a day, i guess?
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Expert Comment

by:wdosanjos
ID: 35202887
BTW, TimeSpan.ToString(format) is available in .NET 4:

    http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd992632.aspx

So, p_davis' answer is correct as long as it's .NET 4.

I hope this helps.
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Expert Comment

by:Mike Tomlinson
ID: 35203144
Woohoo!  Thanks for update wdosanjos.  =)

You have to escape the ":" though like this:
Dim dtA As DateTime = DateTime.Now
        Dim dtB As DateTime = dtA.AddDays(Math.PI)
        Dim ts As TimeSpan = dtB.Subtract(dtA)
        Label1.Text = ts.ToString("dd\:hh\:mm\:ss")

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*This is different than the DateTime.ToString() method which is perfectly happy accepting an un-escaped colon!
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Expert Comment

by:p_davis
ID: 35203166
what is this dim you speak of??? ;p
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Expert Comment

by:Mike Tomlinson
ID: 35203187
Hahaha...grrrr....I'm always forgetting what ZONE I'm in!  =)

In not as beautiful as VB.Net, the C# equivalent would be:   *wink*
private void button1_Click(object sender, EventArgs e)
        {
            DateTime dtA = DateTime.Now;
            DateTime dtB = dtA.AddDays(Math.PI);
            TimeSpan ts = dtB.Subtract(dtA);
            label1.Text = ts.ToString(@"dd\:hh\:mm\:ss");
        }

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Expert Comment

by:p_davis
ID: 35203203
well defined space of a function embraced by beautiful curly brackets.....all is right with the world
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Expert Comment

by:Mike Tomlinson
ID: 35203217
// no comment;
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by:p_davis
ID: 35203963

code puns =)

don't hate!
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