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Date picker

Date and time pickers allow users to select a single or a range of dates and times.

Overview

Pickers are used to display past, present, or future dates or times. The kind of date (exact, approximate, memorable) you are requesting from the user will determine which picker is best to use. Each picker’s format can be customized depending on location or need.

When to use

Use date and time pickers when you are asking the user for a time or date, or for scheduling tasks.

Variants

VariantPurpose
Simple date inputUse if the date can be remembered by the user easily, such as a date of birth, and they don’t need a calendar to anticipate the dates. It consists only of input fields.
Calendar pickersUse a calendar picker when the user needs to know a date’s relationship to other days or when a date could be variable. It allows the user to view and pick dates from a calendar widget or manually type the date in the text field.
Time pickerUse when asking the user to input a specific time.

Live demo

DatePicker
Modifiers
DatePickerInput
Modifiers
size

Formatting

Anatomy of date pickers

Date picker anatomy

Anatomy of a simple date input and a single date calendar picker

  1. Label: Instructs the user what to do with the control.
  2. Date field: A text input field where the user can manually type in the date.
  3. Icon: calendar icon indicates the calendar menu is available.
  4. Calendar: The menu where a date may be selected.
  5. Month and year controls: Allows the user to navigate through past and future time frames.
  6. Previous and next month controls: Allows the user to move forward or backward one month at a time.
  7. Day: Days in the month.

Anatomy of a time picker

Time picker anatomy

Anatomy of a time picker

  1. Label: Instructs the user what to do with the control.
  2. Hour and minute field: A text input field where the user types the hours and minutes of the desired time.
  3. AM/PM selector: A select control that allows the user to choose time period.
  4. Timezone selector: A select control that allows the user to set the associated time zone.

Alignment

By default, the pickers have fixed widths. If you are placing the picker inline with other inputs, such as in form, then the widths can be adjusted to match the other inputs. The picker can either increase or decrease in width as needed. If you adjust the size, be aware that pickers have minimum widths and the date content should never horizontal scroll or overflow.

Alignment example

The calendar itself will always remain a fixed width and is not adjustable. It should always be aligned to the left edge of its assigned text field.

Alignment example

Sizes

Date picker comes in three sizes: small (32px), medium (40px), and large (48px).

Size example

Content

Main elements

Label

  • Both date and time pickers must be accompanied with labels.
  • The labels should be clear and descriptive.
  • Range inputs should be being properly labeled with a start and end label.

Date format

  • The date format can be displayed differently depending on your location. For example, some countries use month/day/year while other use day/month/year.
  • When using a simple date input include the date format in parentheses inline with the label or as helper text below the label.
  • When using calendar picker the date format will be automated if the user selects from the calendar menu.
  • Only including the date format as placeholder text inside the field is problematic because it will disappear from view once the user begins typing.
Alignment example

Time format

  • Both the 12-hour and 24-hour time systems are allowed.
  • If using the 12-hour format it must be accompanied by an AM/PM selection.
  • Use uppercase letters and no periods for the abbreviations AM and PM.
  • Specific times should specify a timezone.

Further guidance

For further content guidance, see Carbon’s content guidelines.

Universal behaviors

The behaviors listed in this section are universal across all of the variants. For behaviors that are unique to each variant, see each of the component variant sections below.

States

Validation

Invalid fields should be clearly marked. In pickers with more than one field, the invalid state should only be set on the individual factor that is triggering the error so the user can clearly understand which to address.

Validation example

Internationalization

Internationalization, also referred to as globalization, refers to software adapting to different languages, regional peculiarities, and technical requirements of a target locale without additional code changes. This means that if the location is known, then formatting of a date or time can automatically change to the acceptable local format. You should always try to design for internationalization.

Simple date input

The simple date input provides the user with only a text field in which they can manually input a date. It allows dates to be entered without adding unnecessary interactions that come with the calendar menu or a dropdown.

The simple date input can include month/year or month/day/year. The formatting may be localized and rearranged in sequence of appearance.

Simple date input

When to use

Use for memorable dates

Simple date inputs are typically used when the date is known by the user, such as a date of birth or credit card expiration.

Use for approximate dates

Simple date inputs are best for when asking the user for an approximate date instead of an exact date, especially in regards to past dates. For example, when was asking a user when a purchase was made they will most likely easily recall the month and year (November 2019) versus the specific date (November 22, 2019).

States

The simple date input is a text input and has the same interactive state and behaviors. See the style tab for more details.