Warning: You are browsing the documentation for Symfony 2.1, which is no longer maintained.

Read the updated version of this page for Symfony 5.3 (the current stable version).

date Field Type

date Field Type

A field that allows the user to modify date information via a variety of different HTML elements.

The underlying data used for this field type can be a DateTime object, a string, a timestamp or an array. As long as the input option is set correctly, the field will take care of all of the details.

The field can be rendered as a single text box, three text boxes (month, day, and year) or three select boxes (see the widget_ option).

Underlying Data Type can be DateTime, string, timestamp, or array (see the input option)
Rendered as single text box or three select fields
Overridden Options
Inherited options
Parent type field (if text), form otherwise
Class Symfony\Component\Form\Extension\Core\Type\DateType

Basic Usage

This field type is highly configurable, but easy to use. The most important options are input and widget.

Suppose that you have a publishedAt field whose underlying date is a DateTime object. The following configures the date type for that field as three different choice fields:

$builder->add('publishedAt', 'date', array(
    'input'  => 'datetime',
    'widget' => 'choice',

The input option must be changed to match the type of the underlying date data. For example, if the publishedAt field’s data were a unix timestamp, you’d need to set input to timestamp:

$builder->add('publishedAt', 'date', array(
    'input'  => 'timestamp',
    'widget' => 'choice',

The field also supports an array and string as valid input option values.

Field Options


type: string default: choice

The basic way in which this field should be rendered. Can be one of the following:

  • choice: renders three select inputs. The order of the selects is defined in the format option.
  • text: renders a three field input of type text (month, day, year).
  • single_text: renders a single input of type date (text in Symfony 2.0). User’s input is validated based on the format option.


type: string default: datetime

The format of the input data - i.e. the format that the date is stored on your underlying object. Valid values are:

  • string (e.g. 2011-06-05)
  • datetime (a DateTime object)
  • array (e.g. array('year' => 2011, 'month' => 06, 'day' => 05))
  • timestamp (e.g. 1307232000)

The value that comes back from the form will also be normalized back into this format.


If timestamp is used, DateType is limited to dates between Fri, 13 Dec 1901 20:45:54 GMT and Tue, 19 Jan 2038 03:14:07 GMT on 32bit systems. This is due to a limitation in PHP itself.


type: string or array

If your widget option is set to choice, then this field will be represented as a series of select boxes. The empty_value option can be used to add a “blank” entry to the top of each select box:

$builder->add('dueDate', 'date', array(
    'empty_value' => '',

Alternatively, you can specify a string to be displayed for the “blank” value:

$builder->add('dueDate', 'date', array(
    'empty_value' => array('year' => 'Year', 'month' => 'Month', 'day' => 'Day')


type: array default: five years before to five years after the current year

List of years available to the year field type. This option is only relevant when the widget option is set to choice.


type: array default: 1 to 12

List of months available to the month field type. This option is only relevant when the widget option is set to choice.


type: array default: 1 to 31

List of days available to the day field type. This option is only relevant when the widget option is set to choice:

'days' => range(1,31)


type: integer or string default: IntlDateFormatter::MEDIUM

Option passed to the IntlDateFormatter class, used to transform user input into the proper format. This is critical when the widget option is set to single_text, and will define how the user will input the data. By default, the format is determined based on the current user locale: meaning that the expected format will be different for different users. You can override it by passing the format as a string.

For more information on valid formats, see Date/Time Format Syntax. For example, to render a single text box that expects the user to enter yyyy-MM-dd, use the following options:

$builder->add('date_created', 'date', array(
    'widget' => 'single_text',
    'format' => 'yyyy-MM-dd',


type: string default: system default timezone

Timezone that the input data is stored in. This must be one of the PHP supported timezones


type: string default: system default timezone

Timezone for how the data should be shown to the user (and therefore also the data that the user submits). This must be one of the PHP supported timezones

Overridden Options


default: false

The DateTime classes are treated as immutable objects.


default: false

Inherited options

These options inherit from the field type:


type: string default: This value is not valid

This is the validation error message that’s used if the data entered into this field doesn’t make sense (i.e. fails validation).

This might happen, for example, if the user enters a nonsense string into a time field that cannot be converted into a real time or if the user enters a string (e.g. apple) into a number field.

Normal (business logic) validation (such as when setting a minimum length for a field) should be set using validation messages with your validation rules (reference).


type: array default: array()

When setting the invalid_message option, you may need to include some variables in the string. This can be done by adding placeholders to that option and including the variables in this option:

$builder->add('some_field', 'some_type', array(
    // ...
    'invalid_message'            => 'You entered an invalid value - it should include %num% letters',
    'invalid_message_parameters' => array('%num%' => 6),


New in version 2.1: The read_only option was changed in 2.1 to render as a readonly HTML attribute. Previously, it rendered as a disabled attribute. Use the disabled option if you need the old behavior.

type: Boolean default: false

If this option is true, the field will be rendered with the readonly attribute so that the field is not editable.


New in version 2.1: The disabled option is new in version 2.1

type: boolean default: false

If you don’t want a user to modify the value of a field, you can set the disabled option to true. Any submitted value will be ignored.


type: boolean

If you wish the field to be ignored when reading or writing to the object, you can set the mapped option to false.


type: boolean default: false

This option determines if the form will be mapped with data. This can be useful if you need a form to structure the view. See How to use the Virtual Form Field Option.

New in version 2.1: The error_mapping option is new to Symfony 2.1.


type: array default: empty

This option allows you to modify the target of a validation error.

Imagine you have a custom method named matchingCityAndZipCode that validates whether the city and zip code match. Unfortunately, there is no “matchingCityAndZipCode” field in your form, so all that Symfony can do is display the error on top of the form.

With customized error mapping, you can do better: map the error to the city field so that it displays above it:

public function setDefaultOptions(OptionsResolverInterface $resolver)
        'error_mapping' => array(
            'matchingCityAndZipCode' => 'city',

Here are the rules for the left and the right side of the mapping:

  • The left side contains property paths.
  • If the violation is generated on a property or method of a class, its path is simply “propertyName”.
  • If the violation is generated on an entry of an array or ArrayAccess object, the property path is [indexName].
  • You can construct nested property paths by concatenating them, separating properties by dots. For example: addresses[work].matchingCityAndZipCode
  • The left side of the error mapping also accepts a dot ., which refers to the field itself. That means that any error added to the field is added to the given nested field instead.
  • The right side contains simply the names of fields in the form.

This work, including the code samples, is licensed under a Creative Commons BY-SA 3.0 license.