Make Dealing with Dates a Little Easier

Functions to work with date-times and time-spans: fast and user friendly parsing of date-time data, extraction and updating of components of a date-time (years, months, days, hours, minutes, and seconds), algebraic manipulation on date-time and time-span objects. The 'lubridate' package has a consistent and memorable syntax that makes working with dates easy and fun.

Date-time data can be frustrating to work with in R. R commands for date-times are generally unintuitive and change depending on the type of date-time object being used. Moreover, the methods we use with date-times must be robust to time zones, leap days, daylight savings times, and other time related quirks, and R lacks these capabilities in some situations. Lubridate makes it easier to do the things R does with date-times and possible to do the things R does not. Specifically, lubridate provides:

  • a set of intuitive date-time related functions that work the same way for all common date-time classes (including those from chron, timeDate, zoo, xts, its, tis, timeSeries, fts, and tseries)

  • quick and easy parsing of date-times: ymd(), dmy(), mdy(), ...

  • simple functions to extract and modify components of a date-time, such as years, months, days, hours, minutes, and seconds: year(), month(), day(), ...

  • helper functions for handling time zones: with_tz(), force_tz()

Lubridate also expands the type of mathematical operations that can be performed with date-time objects. It introduces three new time span classes borrowed from

  • durations, which measure the exact amount of time between two points

  • periods, which accurately track clock times despite leap years, leap seconds, and day light savings time

  • intervals, a protean summary of the time information between two points


Version (development)

  • #464 New function semester to extract semesters form date-time objects.
  • #459 Flexible C-level parsing for periods and durations has been implemented; period and duration constructors now accept string as first argument. Same parsing rules apply to the 'unit' parameter in rounding functions.
  • #459 Comparison between character vectors and periods/durations is now possible.
  • #287 C-level and derivative parsers now handle English months (%b and %B formats) irrespective of the current locale.
  • #327 C-level and derivative parsers now handles English AM/PM indicator irrespective of the current locale.
  • #417 hms, hm, ms gained new argument roll=TRUE which rolls minutes and seconds bigger than 59 towards higher units.
  • #445 Division of intervals by periods is now accurate.
  • #442 round_date, floor_date and ceiling_date now support rounding to multiple of units.
  • #422 New parsing function yq for parsing most common version of quarter strings.
  • #422 New format q for parsing quarters in all lubridate parsing functions.
  • #441 Comparison between POSIXt and Date objects is now possible.
  • #437 New function as_datetime to coerce to POSIXct object. A counterpart of as_date.
  • #412 New function make_date to produce Date objects. A counterpart of make_datetime.
  • #443 Behavior of ceiling_date for Date objects was changed to what most of the users expect. Rounding up by months now produces first day of the next months even for first day of the month.
  • #268 round_date, ceiling_date, and floor_date now accept "quarter", "bimonth", and "halfyear" as unit options.
  • #418 C level parsing functions understand 24:00:00 in datetime strings.
  • Low letter specs for HMS (hms,hm,ms) in parse_date_time and related functions are now deprecated.
  • #445 No more warning on occasional imprecise period length conversions. Imprecise arithmetics with periods is extensively documented.
  • pretty.* family of functions were renamed and are no longer exported. If you need to use them, use lubridate:::pretty_* versions.
  • change_on_boundary argument in ceiling_date does not allow for global option anymore.
  • as.duration, as.numeric don't show "only estimate" messages on conversion from periods. The occasional approximate conversion is documented and deemed common knowledge.
  • as.numeric with unit="month" now works on duration objects.
  • #403 Update on Date objects now return POSIXct instead of POSIXlt.
  • #411 format mdy or myd beginning with "January" or "Jan" now parsing correctly
  • here and olson_time_zones were deprecated in favor of new and base OlsonNames respectively.
  • Internally, S4 Compare and Ops generics were cleaned and simplified.
  • #456 Evaluation output in documentation examples was removed.
  • #463 Fix NA subscripting error in %m+% when rollback is involved.
  • #462 Non-numeric or non-character arguments are disallowed as arguments to period and duration constructors.
  • #458 When year is missing in parsing, return consistently year 0.
  • #448 Correctly handle missing months and days in C parser.
  • #450 Fix incorrect handling of DST gaps in date_decimal and decimal_date.
  • #420 as.numeric correctly converts periods to (aproximate) numeric time lengths.

Version 1.5.6

  • #390 ceiling_date gains new argument change_on_boundary to allow ceiling on boundary of date-time objects.
  • C parser can now produce a list of date-time components suitable for POSIXlt constructors.
  • parse_date_time2 and fast_strptime gain new lt argument to control type of output.
  • #373 New date and date<- additions to the year, month etc family of accessors.
  • #365 New very fast datetime constructor make_datetime (dropin replacement of ISOdatetime).
  • #344 force_tz and with_tz can handle data.frames component-wise.
  • #355 New as_date replacement of as.Date with more intuitive behavior with non-UTC timezones.
  • #333 hms parsers now handle negative components.
  • #391 ymd family of functions return Date object when tz argument is NULL (new default) and POSIXct otherwise.
  • #364 Remove epoch functions.
  • For consistency with base:strptime fast_strptime now returns POSIXlt object. That is, its lt argument defaults to TRUE.
  • interval constructor treats timezones correctly and works with UTC whenever meaningful.
  • #371 as.period correctly computes months with intervals spanning multiple years.
  • #388 time_length and add_with_rollback now work correctly with missing intervals.
  • #394 fast_strptime and parse_date_time2 correctly treat non-UTC time zones.
  • #399 floor_date and round_date are not preserving tz component for larger than day units

Version 1.5.0

  • New time_length method.
  • Added isoyear function to line up with isoweek.
  • #326 Added exact = TRUE option to parse_date_time for faster and much more flexible specification of formats.
  • New simple argument to fit_to_timeline and update methods mostly intended for internal use.
  • #315 Implement unique method for interval class.
  • #295 New args preserve_hms and roll_to_first in rollback function.
  • #303 New quarter option in floor_date and friends.
  • #348 New as.list.Interval S3 method.
  • #278 Added settors and accessors for qday (quarter day).
  • New maintainer Vitalie Spinu (@vspinu)
  • Time span constructors were re-factored; new_interval, new_period, new_duration, new_difftime were deprecated in favour of the more powerful interval, period, duration and make_difftime functions.
  • eseconds, eminutes etc. were deprecated in favour of dsecons, dminutes etc.
  • Many documentation improvements.
  • New testthat conventions are adopted. Tests are now in test/testthat.
  • Internally isodate was replaced with a much faster parse_date_time2(paste(...)) alternative
  • #325 Lubridate's trunc, ceiling and floor functions have been optimised and now are relying on R's trunc.POSIXct whenever possible.
  • #285 Algebraic computations with negative periods are behaving asymmetrically with respect to their positive counterparts.
  • Made necessary changes to accommodate new zoo-based fst objects.
  • #360 Fix c parser for Z (zulu) indicator.
  • #322 Explicitly encode formatted string with enc2utf8.
  • #302 Allow parsing long numbers such as 20140911000000 as date+time.
  • #349 Fix broken interval -> period conversion.
  • #336 Fix broken interval-> period conversion with negative diffs.
  • #227 Treat "days" and "years" units specially for pretty.point.
  • #286 %m+-% correctly handles dHMS period components.
  • #323 Implement coercion methods for Duration class.
  • #226 Propagate NAs in int_standardize
  • #235 Fix integer division with months and years.
  • #240 Make ceiling_date skip day light gap.
  • #254 Don't preprocess a/A formats if expressly specified by the user.
  • #289 Check for valid day-months combinations in C parser.
  • #306 When needed double guess with preproc_wday=T.
  • #308 Document sparce format guessing in parse_date_time.
  • #313 Fixed and optimized fit_to_timeline function.
  • #311 Always use UTC in isoweek computation
  • #294 Don't use years in seconds_to_period.
  • Values on $<- assignment for periods are now properly recycled.
  • Correctly handle NA subscripting in round_date.

Version 1.4.0

  • #219 In interval use UTC when tzone is missing.
  • #255 Parse yy > 68 as 19yy to comply with strptime.
  • #266 Include time-zones.R in coercion.R.
  • #251 Correct computation of weeks.
  • #262 Document that month boundary is the first second of the month.
  • #270 Add check for empty unit names in standardise_lt_names.
  • #276 Perform conversion in as.period.period if unit != NULL.
  • #284 Compute periods in as.period.interval without recurring to modulo arithmetic.
  • #272 Update examples for hms, hm and ms for new printing style.
  • #236 Don't allow zeros in month and day during parsing.
  • #247 Uninitialized index was mistakenly used in subseting.
  • #229 guess_formats now matches flex regexp first.
  • dmilliseconds now correctly returns a Duration object.
  • Fixed setdiff for discontinuous intervals.

Version 1.3.3

  • New low level C parser for numeric formats and two new front-end R functions parse_date_time2 and fast_strptime. The achieved speed up is 50-100x as compared to standard as.POSIXct and strptime functions.

    The user level parser functions of ymd_hms family drop to these C routines whenever plain numeric formats are detected.

  • olson_time_zones now supports Solaris OS
  • infinite recursion on parsing non-existing leap times was fixed

Version 1.3.2

  • Lubridate's s4 methods no longer use the representation argument, which has been deprecated in R 3.0.0 (see ?setClass). As a result, lubridate is no longer backwards compatible with R <3.0.0.

Version 1.3.0

  • v1.3.0. treats math with month and year Periods more consistently. If adding or subtracting n months would result in a non-existent date, lubridate will return an NA instead of a day in the following month or year. For example, ymd("2013-01-31") + months(1) will return NA instead of 2013-03-04 as in v1.2.0. ymd("2012-02-29") + years(1) will also return an NA. This rule change helps ensure that date + timespan - timespan = date (or NA). If you'd prefer that such arithmetic just returns the last day of the resulting month, see %m+% and %m-%.
  • update.POSIXct and update.POSIXlt have been rewritten to be 7x faster than their versions in v1.2.0. The speed gain is felt in force_tz, with_tz, floor_date, ceiling_date, second<-, minute<-, hour<-, day<-, month<-, year<-, and other functions that rely on update (such as math with Periods).
  • lubridate includes a Korean translation provided by
  • lubridate parser and stamp functions now handle ISO8601 date format (e.g., 2013-01-24 19:39:07.880-06:00, 2013-01-24 19:39:07.880Z)
  • lubridate v1.3.0 comes with a new R vignette. see browseVignettes("lubridate") to view it.
  • The accessors second, minute, hour, day, month, year and the settors second<-, minute<-, hour<-, day<-, month<-, year<- now work on Period class objects
  • users can control which messages lubridate returns when parsing and estimating with the global option lubridate.verbose. Run options(lubridate.verbose = TRUE) to turn parsing messages on. Run options(lubridate.verbose = FALSE) to turn estimation and coercion messages off.
  • lubridate parser functions now propagate NA's just as as.POSIXct, strptime and other functions do. Previously lubridate's parse functions would only return an error.
  • added [[ and [[<- methods for INterval, Period and Duration class objects
  • added %m+% and %m-% methods for Interval and Duration class objects that throw useful errors.
  • olson_time_zones retreives a character vector is Olson-style time zone names to use in lubridate
  • summary methods for Interval, Period, and Duration classes
  • date_decimal converts a date written as a decimal of a year into a POSIXct date-time
  • fixed bug in way update.POSIXct and update.POSIXlt handle dates that occur in the fall daylight savings overlap. update will choose the date-time closest to the original date time (on the timeline) when two identical clock times exist due to the DST overlap.
  • fixed bugs that created unintuitive results for as.interval, int_overlaps, %within% and the interval methods of c, intersect, union, setdiff, and summary.
  • parse functions, as.interval, as.period and as.duration now handlevectors of NA's without returning errors.
  • parsers better handle vectors of input that have more than 100 elements and many NAs
  • data frames that contain timespan objects with NAs in thme no longer fail toprint
  • round_date, ceiling_date and update now correctly handle input of length zero
  • decimal_date no longer returns NaN for first second of the year

Version 1.2.0

  • lubridate 1.2.0 is significantly faster than lubridate 1.1.0. This is largely thanks to a parser rewrite submitted by Vitalie Spinu. Thank you, Vitalie. Some metrics:

    • parser speed up - 60x faster
    • with_tz speed up - 15x faster
    • force_tz speed up - 3x faster
  • Development for 1.2.0 has also focused on improving the way we work with months. rollback rolls dates back to the last day of the previous month. provides more options for working with months. days_in_month finds the number of days in a date's month. And, %m+% and %m-% provide a new way to


  • date parsing can now parse multiple date formats within the same vector of date-times. Parsing can also recognize a greater variety of date-time formats as well as incomplete (truncated) date-times. Contributed by Vitalie Spinu. Thank you, Vitalie.

  • 1.2.0 introduces a new display format for periods. The display is more math and international friendly.

  • 1.2.0 transforms negative intervals into periods much more gracefully (e.g, - 3 days instead of -1 years, 11 months, and 27 days)

  • S3 update methods are now exported

  • stamp allows users to print dates in whatever form they like. Contributed by Vitalie Spinu. Thank you, Vitalie.

  • periods now handle fractional seconds. Contributed by Vitalie Spinu. Thank you, Vitalie.

  • date parsing can now parse multiple date formats within the same vector of date-times. Parsing can also recognize a greater variety of date-time formats as well as incomplete (truncated) date-times. Contributed by Vitalie Spinu. Thank you, Vitalie.

  • sort, order, rank and xtfrm now work with periods

  • as.period.Interval accepts a unit argument. as.period will convert intervals into periods no larger than the supplied unit.

  • days_in_month takes a date, returns the number of days in the date's month. Contributed by Richard Cotton. Thank you, Richard.

  • %m+% and %m-% perform addition and subtraction with months (and years) without rollover at the end of a month. These can be used in place of + and -. These can't be used with periods smaller than a month, which should be handled separately. An example of the new behavior:

    ymd("2010-01-31") %m+% months(1)

    "2010-02-28 UTC"

    ymd("2010-01-31") + months(1)

    "2010-03-03 UTC"

    ymd("2010-03-31") %m-% months(1)

    "2010-02-28 UTC"

    ymd("2010-01-31") - months(1)

    "2010-03-03 UTC"

  • rollback rolls a date back to the last day of the previous month.

  • quarter returns the fiscal quarter that a date occurs in. Like quartes in base R, but returns a numeric instead of a character string.

  • date parsers now handle NAs

  • periods now handle NAs

  • [<- now correctly updates all elements of a period inside a vector, list, or data.frame

  • period() now works with unit = "weeks"

  • ceiling_date no longer rounds up if a date is already at a ceiling

  • the redundant (i.e, repeated) hour of fall daylight savings time now displays with the correct time zone

  • update.POSIXct and update.POSIXlt handle vectors that sum to zero in the days argument

  • the format method for periods, intervals and duration now accurately displays objects of length 0.

Version 1.1.0

  • lubridate no longer overwrites base R methods for +, - , *, /, %%, and %/%. To recreate the previous experience of subtracting two date times to create an interval, we've added the interval creation function %--%.

  • lubridate has moved to an S4 object system. Timespans, Intervals, Durations, and Periods have each been redefined as an S4 class with its own methods.

  • arithmetic operations will no longer perform implicit class changes between timespans. Users must explicitly state how and when they wish class changes to occur with as.period(), as.duration(), and as.interval(). This makes code written with lubridate more robust, as such implicit changes often did not produce consistent behavior across a variety of operations. It also allows lubridate to be less chatty with fewer console messages. lubridate does not need to explain what it is doing, because it no longer attempts to do things whose outcome would not be clear. On the other hand, arithmetic between multiple time classes will produce informative error messages.

  • the internal structure of lubridate R code has been reorganized at to make lubridate more development friendly.

  • intervals are now more useful and lubridate has more ways to manipulate them. Intervals can be created with %--%; modified with int_shift(), int_flip(), and int_standardize(); manipulated with intersect(), union(), and setdiff(); and used in logical tests with int_aligns(), int_overlaps(), and %within%. lubridate will no longer perform arithmetic between two intervals because the correct results of such operations is no more obvious than the correct result of adding two dates. Instead users are encouraged to use the new set operations or to directly modify intervals with int_start() and int_end(), which can also be used as settors. lubridate now supports negative intervals as well as positive intervals. Intervals also now display with a time zone.

  • Modulo methods for timespans have been changed to return a timespan. this allows modulo methods to be used with integer division in an intuitive manner, e.g. a = a %/% b * b + a %% b

Users can still acheive a numerical result by using as.numeric() on input before performing modulo.

  • Periods, durations, and intervals can now all be put into a data frame.

  • Periods, durations, and intervals can be intuitively subset with $ and []. These operations also can be used as settors with <-.

  • The parsing functions and the as.period method for intervals are now slightly faster.

  • month<- and wday<- settors accept names as well as numbers

  • parsing functions now have a quiet argument to parse without messages and a tz argument to directly parse times into the desired time zone.

  • logical comparison methods now work for period objects.

Version 0.2.6

  • use test_package to avoid incompatibility with current version of testthat

  • other minor fixes to pass R CMD check

Version 0.2.5

  • added ymdThms() for parsing ISO 8061 formatted combned dates and times
  • removed bug in parsing dates with "T" in them

  • modified as.period.interval() to display periods in positive units

Version 0.2.4

  • Add citations to JSS article

Version 0.2.3

  • ymd_hms(), hms(), and ms() functions can now parse dates that include decimal values in the seconds element.

  • milliseconds(), microseconds(), nanoseconds(), and picoseconds() create period objects of the specified lengths. dmilliseconds(), dmicroseconds(), dnanoseconds(), and dpicoseconds() make duration objects of the specified lengths.

  • lubridate no longer overwrites months(), start(), and end() from base R. Start and end have been replaced with int_start() and int_end().

  • lubridate imports plyr and stringr packages, instead of depending on them.

Version 0.2.2

  • made division, modulo, and integer division operations compatible with difftimes

  • created c() methods for periods and durations

  • fixed bug in division, modulo, and integer operations with timespans

Version 0.2.1

  • created parsing functions ymd_hm ymd_h dmy_hms dmy_hm dmy_h mdy_hms mdy_hm mdy_h ydm_hms ydm_hm ydm_h, which operate in the same way as ymd_hms().
  • fixed bug in add_dates(). duration objects can now be successfully added to numeric objects.

Version 0.2

  • division between timespans: each timespan class (durations, periods, intervals) can be divided by other timespans. For example, how many weeks are there between Halloween and Christmas?: (christmas - halloween) / weeks(1)

  • modulo operations between timespans

  • duration objects now have their own class and display format separate from difftimes

  • interval objects now use an improved data structure and have a cleaner display format

  • lubridate now loads its own namespace

  • math operations now automatically coerce interval objects to duration objects. Allows intervals to be used "right out of the box" without error messages.

  • created start() and end() functions for accessing and changing the boundary date-times of an interval

  • rep() methods for periods, intervals, and durations
  • added a package help page with functions listed by purpose

  • eseconds(), eminutes(), etc. are aliased to dseconds(), dminutes(), etc. to make it easier to remember they are duration objects.

  • changed leap.years() to leap_years() to maintain consistent naming scheme

  • rewrote as.period() to create only positive periods.

  • fixed rollover bug in update.POSIXct()

  • edited make_diff() to display in days when approporiate, not weeks

Reference manual

It appears you don't have a PDF plugin for this browser. You can click here to download the reference manual.


1.6.0 by Vitalie Spinu, 5 months ago

Report a bug at

Browse source code at

Authors: Garrett Grolemund [aut], Vitalie Spinu [aut, cre], Hadley Wickham [aut], Ian Lyttle [ctb], Imanuel Constigan [ctb], Jason Law [ctb], Doug Mitarotonda [ctb], Joseph Larmarange [ctb], Jonathan Boiser [ctb], Chel Hee Lee [ctb]

Documentation:   PDF Manual  

Task views: Time Series Analysis, Reproducible Research

GPL-2 license

Imports stringr

Depends on methods

Suggests testthat, knitr, covr

Enhances chron, timeDate, zoo, xts, its, tis, timeSeries, fts, tseries

Imported by APSIM, Biograph, CrossVA, EGRET, EGRETci, FREddyPro, FedData, GetHFData, MODISSnow, MazamaSpatialUtils, PhysActBedRest, RDML, RGA, RefManageR, RmarineHeatWaves, SciencesPo, SensusR, SpaDES, TTAinterfaceTrendAnalysis, WRTDStidal, Wats, aemo, alm, aoristic, apsimr, archivist, boxoffice, bsplus, cardioModel, clifro, climwin, countytimezones, countyweather, cricketr, cruts, dataRetrieval, dataonderivatives, drsmooth, dtwSat, dynatopmodel, ecoengine, edeaR, etl, fecR, feedeR, fmbasics, fmdates, ggpmisc, ggspectra, grattan, healthcareai, highcharter, hurricaneexposure, iClick, ie2misc, iki.dataclim, kntnr, machina, macleish, musica, naptime, ncar, openair, pdfetch, photobiology, photobiologyInOut, pinbasic, plusser, pollen, pollstR, primerTree, radiant.model, rclimateca, respirometry, riem, rnoaa, ropenaq, rpdo, rplos, rtide, rtrends, sp500SlidingWindow, spatsurv, spocc, ss3sim, stationaRy, stormwindmodel, stplanr, sweidnumbr, tidyRSS, tidyverse, timelineS, vetools, waterData, ztype.

Depended on by MRMR, MetFns, RGoogleAnalytics, RGoogleAnalyticsPremium, TimeProjection, orgR,, seawaveQ, tidyquant, tolBasis, weatherr.

Suggested by GSODR, HistData, Lock5withR, ProjectTemplate, UsingR, crawl, diversitree, ggvis, githubinstall, hms, htmlTable, ie2miscdata, mdsr, mosaic, padr, raw, rdpla, rtimes, statar, unvotes, wbstats, wingui, xtractomatic.

See at CRAN