Ten Python One-Liners to Get Today’s Date as YYYY-MM-DD

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Mini Project Description

I was just working on the Finxter app that involves creating a huge amount of log files (for server logs at app.finxter.com). In my Python web app, I create these log files on a daily basis containing usage reports — and I needed to rename them so that I can sort them in a folder by date.

Examples with bolded YYYY-MM-DD date formatting:

  • 'log-file-2022-12-21.dat'
  • 'log-file-2022-12-22.dat'
  • 'log-file-2022-12-23.dat'

πŸ’¬ Challenge: Specifically, I need to create the current date YYYY-MM-DD in Python!

In this short tutorial, I quickly share my code on how to do this so it may help you do the same or a similar task. Let’s get started! πŸ‘‡

Quick Solution

The datetime.date.today() function creates a datetime object with the current date that can be reformatted using the strftime('%Y-%m-%d') method call to print out the current date in a specific format (year-month-day).

Here’s an example for today:

import datetime


today = datetime.date.today()
print(today.strftime('%Y-%m-%d'))
# 2022-12-23

Or in a single line of Python code:

import datetime; print(datetime.date.today().strftime('%Y-%m-%d'))
# 2022-12-23

If you’re like me, you’re wondering how to get to this quite lengthy code snippet. Let’s break it down to further our understanding.

Here are two variants of the .today() method that can help you understand how we got there:

>>> datetime.datetime.today()
datetime.datetime(2022, 12, 23, 0, 27, 28, 712504)
>>> datetime.date.today()
datetime.date(2022, 12, 23)

Note you can also convert both the date and the datetime objects to a string using the built-in str() method:

>>> str(datetime.date.today())
'2022-12-23'
>>> str(datetime.datetime.today())
'2022-12-23 00:30:04.218695'

Basically, the first line already presents an even easier solution. VoilΓ ! πŸ‘Œ

Just for fun, I came up with additional solutions—I’ll give ten different solutions next!

10 One-Liner Solutions

These are ten different ways to get today’s date in YYYY-MM-DD format in Python:

1) datetime.datetime.now().strftime("%Y-%m-%d")
2) datetime.date.today().strftime("%Y-%m-%d")
3) time.strftime("%Y-%m-%d")
4) datetime.date.today().isoformat()
5) datetime.date.today().strftime("%Y/%m/%d")
6) datetime.datetime.now().date().strftime("%Y-%m-%d")
7) datetime.datetime.now().date().isoformat()
8) datetime.datetime.now().strftime("%d-%m-%Y")
9) date.today().strftime("%Y-%m-%d")
10) datetime.date.today().strftime("%d/%m/%Y")

The output formats can vary slightly:

1) 2022-12-23
2) 2022-12-23
3) 2022-12-23
4) 2022-12-23
5) 2022/12/23
6) 2022-12-23
7) 2022-12-23
8) 23-12-2022
9) 2022-12-23
10) 23/12/2022

And, yes, I love Python one-liners! β™₯οΈπŸ‘‡

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An in-depth tutorial on this topic can be found on the Finxter blog. See here:

πŸ‘‰ Recommended: How to Print Today in Python?