Properties: let the user customize the way Dates/Times are displayed (independently from OS)

Mod-Note: This FR is specifically about customizing the way dates are displayed not the format they are written on file. Currently, the displayed format follows what you have chosen at OS-level.

Use case or problem

As far as I could see, how dates/times are displayed within Properties seems to be device dependent instead of just re-using the format from the YAML.

My device was not set to use dates formatted as YYYY-MM-DD and I had to go and change these settings so Properties would actually parse/recognise this format as dates (or times).

And I find this generally perplexing and confusing from a user point of view.

I don’t understand why I need to change the settings of my entire device just to display a date/time in a specific format in Obsidian.

I am not in the US and my device is not set in English. But I do use Obsidian in English (in Obsidian’s settings).
I tend to use dates/times in my YAML following the ISO format (or something very close to) and if I didn’t stumble upon a message on Discord to know how to display my dates in Properties as I wrote them in my YAML, I guess I would still be looking for a “solution” now… or leave them as “text” as I actually wrote them in my YAML.
But then again, this defies the purpose of having types in Properties, at least, for dates/times, if one is constrained by the dates/times device settings just to display a date, in a certain way, in Obsidian.

In other words, all this lacks flexibility and adds an unnecessary layer of complexity :pensive: .

Proposed solution

Adding some user’s settings to Properties, at least for dates/times where one could input one or more desired MomentJS date/time format so Properties would know how to display dates and times without having to rely on the device’s settings.

There could even be a toggle to allow Obsidian to use the device’s settings instead of the “user’s Properties settings”) for those who would prefer this :blush:.

Current workaround (optional)

Changing the Date / Time settings in the Language & Region menu of the device :confused:

88 Likes

I too find it very difficult as an ExPat to be forced to use the settings of my local device in my app. This limits my work and causes confusion. Although my device is set up to use a combination of German and American date and time descriptions. I prefer ISO in my Obsidian Vault.

I too would prefer a setting in Obsidian to use either the System settings, or to change them myself. (and having ISO as an option would be wonderful).

6 Likes

Yes! Please do add a way to set the desired date display format in the new properties view. Not everyone wants (or understands) the US date format.

2 Likes

This ‘date setting’ could logically be placed in the Appearance section in settings. If so, the date format selection could also be used throughout the rest of the vault for consistency as requested in this FR: Vault level Date format selector

4 Likes

+1 - Please make date-time format user customizable within Obsidian and not tied to the OS setting

4 Likes

In fact, my system is configured to use YYY-MM-DD, but Obsidian is nevertheless using DD/MM/YYYY. Please make this configurable! I’m using Linux

4 Likes

+1 for this request - I’m in the US and would still prefer the YYYY-MM-DD format epsecially because I think this might make it easier to link to the corresponding daily note, which is in that format as well.

3 Likes

A note of clarification, to make this FR happen we would need to stop using the browser-provided GUI for dates and write our own.

1 Like

I think it would be great feature for international users of obsidian.

1 Like

Anything US-date based is just wrong, on so many levels. Please let us customise it to suit our own individual needs.

2 Likes

You can customize it. Right now, it follows your OS settings. Change the way dates are displayed in your OS and make sure you restart Obsidian.

This FR is specifically about letting the user customize the date format independently from what you set at OS level.

1 Like

Sorry, nope. I’m on a Chromebook, running the Linux flavour of Obsidian. All date formats are set as non-US since the day I bought it. Only Obsidian is failing to adhere.

3 Likes

On linux, unfortunately, there are a multitude of places where the these things are set. I don’t know where the “linux flavor of Obsidian” is picking its settings.

Yeah, cool. I’ll have to keep playing around until I find it. I’m no linux expert either, but with my limited knowledge everything appears to be correct…hence why I was blaming obsidian :slight_smile: If that’s not the case, then my apologies.

Beyond the linux case, this FR is still valid and popular because we have users who want to use a different format from the one specified in the OS.

8 Likes

On Windows 10 my regional settings are are set to DD-MM-YYYY. The language is set to English. Obsidian date properties still show as MM/DD/YYYY.
Seems that on Windows Obsidian does not follow the regional settings of the OS, it sets the date format according to the display language of the OS.

4 Likes

Not sure about win 10, but on win11, I can set whatever format I want by going in Language & Region > Regional Format > Short-Date

Chrome follows the same principle.

Yes, Windows 10 also lets me change the date format in regional settings
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but it has no effect on Obsidian property date format.

But apparently Windows gives me the option to choose “English (Dutch)” as language which fixes the issue for me (partly). Dates in properties now show as DD/MM/YYYY, sadly still separated with slashes instead of dashes but at least now I can understand the dates again :slight_smile: .

4 Likes

did you restart obsidian after making the change?

1 Like

Yes, I just tested again.

But my regional short date format setting has always been “DD-MM-YYYY” and the language “English (United-States)”. (Long before I installed Obsidian)
This combination results in the properties using the US date format (MM/DD/YYYY).
Changing the short date format has no effect in Obsidian in this case.

Only when I change the OS language to “English (Dutch)” then the date format in Obsidian seems to follow the regional settings partly, as in I can switch between DD/MM/YYYY and MM/DD/YYYY. But Obsidian never uses the exact short date format that I use: DD-MM-YYYY in Windows shows as DD/MM/YYYY in Obsidian.

edit: the date format that I actually want to use in Obsidian is YYYY-MM-DD but this is currently impossible. Setting the short date format to this in Windows has no effect in Obsidian.

2 Likes