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Php strtotime () function

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(PHP 3>= 3.0.12, PHP 4 , PHP 5)

strtotime --  Parse about any English textual datetime description into a Unix timestamp


int strtotime ( string time [, int now] )

The function expects to be given a string containing an English date format and will try to parse that format into a Unix timestamp (the number of seconds since January 1 1970 00:00:00 GMT), relative to the timestamp given in now, or the current time if none is supplied. Upon failure, -1 is returned.

Because strtotime() behaves according to GNU date syntax, have a look at the GNU manual page titled Date Input Formats. Described there is valid syntax for the time parameter.


In PHP 5 up to 5.0.2, "now" and other relative times are wrongly computed from today's midnight. It differs from other versions where it is correctly computed from current time.

Example 1. strtotime() examples

echo strtotime("now"), "\n";
strtotime("10 September 2000"), "\n";
strtotime("+1 day"), "\n";
strtotime("+1 week"), "\n";
strtotime("+1 week 2 days 4 hours 2 seconds"), "\n";
strtotime("next Thursday"), "\n";
strtotime("last Monday"), "\n";

Example 2. Checking for failure

= 'Not Good';
if ((
$timestamp = strtotime($str)) === -1) {
"The string ($str) is bogus";
} else {
"$str == " . date('l dS of F Y h:i:s A', $timestamp);

Note: The valid range of a timestamp is typically from Fri, 13 Dec 1901 20:45:54 GMT to Tue, 19 Jan 2038 03:14:07 GMT. (These are the dates that correspond to the minimum and maximum values for a 32-bit signed integer.) Additionally, not all platforms support negative timestamps, therefore your date range may be limited to no earlier than the Unix epoch. This means that e.g. dates prior to Jan 1, 1970 will not work on Windows, some Linux distributions, and a few other operating systems.

Php strtotime Function syntax tag

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Php strtotime syntax tutorial

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