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DateType Field

DateType Field

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

This field can be rendered in a variety of different ways via the widget option and can understand a number of different input formats via the input 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 FormType
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:

use Symfony\Component\Form\Extension\Core\Type\DateType;
// ...

$builder->add('publishedAt', DateType::class, array(
    'widget' => 'choice',

If your underlying date is not a DateTime object (e.g. it’s a unix timestamp), configure the input option.

Rendering a single HTML5 Textbox

For a better user experience, you may want to render a single text field and use some kind of “date picker” to help your user fill in the right format. To do that, use the single_text widget:

use Symfony\Component\Form\Extension\Core\Type\DateType;
// ...

$builder->add('publishedAt', DateType::class, array(
    // renders it as a single text box
    'widget' => 'single_text',

This will render as an input type="date" HTML5 field, which means that some - but not all - browsers will add nice date picker functionality to the field. If you want to be absolutely sure that every user has a consistent date picker, use an external JavaScript library.

For example, suppose you want to use the Bootstrap Datepicker library. First, make the following changes:

use Symfony\Component\Form\Extension\Core\Type\DateType;
// ...

$builder->add('publishedAt', DateType::class, array(
    'widget' => 'single_text',

    // prevents rendering it as type="date", to avoid HTML5 date pickers
    'html5' => false,

    // adds a class that can be selected in JavaScript
    'attr' => ['class' => 'js-datepicker'],

Then, add the following JavaScript code in your template to initialize the date picker:

    $(document).ready(function() {
        // you may need to change this code if you are not using Bootstrap Datepicker
            format: 'yyyy-mm-dd'

This format key tells the date picker to use the date format that Symfony expects. This can be tricky: if the date picker is misconfigured, Symfony won’t understand the format and will throw a validation error. You can also configure the format that Symfony should expect via the format option.


The string used by a JavaScript date picker to describe its format (e.g. yyyy-mm-dd) may not match the string that Symfony uses (e.g. yyyy-MM-dd). This is because different libraries use different formatting rules to describe the date format. Be aware of this - it can be tricky to make the formats truly match!

Field Options


New in version 2.8: The choice_translation_domain option was introduced in Symfony 2.8.

type: string, boolean or null

This option determines if the choice values should be translated and in which translation domain.

The values of the choice_translation_domain option can be true (reuse the current translation domain), false (disable translation), null (uses the parent translation domain or the default domain) or a string which represents the exact translation domain to use.


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: string | array

If your widget option is set to choice, then this field will be represented as a series of select boxes. When the placeholder value is a string, it will be used as the blank value of all select boxes:

$builder->add('dueDate', DateType::class, array(
    'placeholder' => 'Select a value',

Alternatively, you can use an array that configures different placeholder values for the year, month and day fields:

$builder->add('dueDate', DateType::class, 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:

use Symfony\Component\Form\Extension\Core\Type\DateType;
// ...

$builder->add('date_created', DateType::class, 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.


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 datepicker, 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 FormType:


type: mixed default: Defaults to field of the underlying structure.

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

use Symfony\Component\Form\Extension\Core\Type\HiddenType;
// ...

$builder->add('token', HiddenType::class, array(
    'data' => 'abcdef',


The data option always overrides the value taken from the domain data (object) when rendering. This means the object value is also overriden when the form edits an already persisted object, causing it to lose its persisted value when the form is submitted.


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 configureOptions(OptionsResolver $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 right side contains simply the names of fields in the form.

By default, errors for any property that is not mapped will bubble up to the parent form. You can use the dot (.) on the left side to map errors of all unmapped properties to a particular field. For instance, to map all these errors to the city field, use:

    'error_mapping' => array(
        '.' => 'city',


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 TimeType 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', SomeFormType::class, 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.



The read_only option has been deprecated and will be removed in 3.0. Instead, use the attr option by setting it to an array with a readonly key.

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.