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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 form
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: 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)


New in version 2.6: The placeholder option was introduced in Symfony 2.6 in favor of empty_value, which is available prior to 2.6.

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 placeholder option can be used to add a “blank” entry to the top of each select box:

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

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

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


type: integer or string default: IntlDateFormatter::MEDIUM (or yyyy-MM-dd if widget is single_text)

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:

$builder->add('date_created', 'date', array(
    'widget' => 'single_text',
    // this is actually the default format for single_text
    'format' => 'yyyy-MM-dd',


If you want your field to be rendered as an HTML5 “date” field, you have to use a single_text widget with the yyyy-MM-dd format (the RFC 3339 format) which is the default value if you use the single_text widget.


New in version 2.6: The html5 option was introduced in Symfony 2.6.

type: boolean default: true

If this is set to true (the default), it’ll use the HTML5 type (date, time or datetime) to render the field. When set to false, it’ll use the text type.

This is useful when you want to use a custom JavaScript datapicker, which often requires a text type instead of an HTML5 type.


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 default: system default timezone

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


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: 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.


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. User’s input is validated based on the format option.


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.

Overridden Options


default: false

The DateTime classes are treated as immutable objects.


type: boolean default: false

This option specifies whether the type contains child types or not. This option is managed internally for built-in types, so there is no need to configure it explicitly.


type: string default: null

The internal normalized representation of this type is an array, not a \DateTime object. Therefore, the data_class option is initialized to null to avoid the FormType object from initializing it to \DateTime.


default: false

Inherited Options

These options inherit from the form type:


type: mixed default: Defaults to field of the underlying object (if there is one)

When you create a form, each field initially displays the value of the corresponding property of the form’s domain object (if an object is bound to the form). If you want to override the initial value for the form or just an individual field, you can set it in the data option:

$builder->add('token', 'hidden', array(
    'data' => 'abcdef',


The default values for form fields are taken directly from the underlying data structure (e.g. an entity or an array). The data option overrides this default value.


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: array default: array()

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.


New in version 2.3: The inherit_data option was introduced in Symfony 2.3. Before, it was known as virtual.

type: boolean default: false

This option determines if the form will inherit data from its parent form. This can be useful if you have a set of fields that are duplicated across multiple forms. See How to Reduce Code Duplication with “inherit_data”.


When a field has the inherit_data option set, it uses the data of the parent form as is. This means that Data Transformers won’t be applied to that field.


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),


type: boolean default: true

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

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

Field Variables

Variable Type Usage
widget mixed The value of the widget option.
type string Only present when widget is single_text and HTML5 is activated, contains the input type to use (datetime, date or time).
date_pattern string A string with the date format to use.

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