Hello I am new to Emacs and I have started using org mode for improving my productivity.

Currently when I press C-c . the date format displayed is <2016-01-26 Thu> I would like to change it to <Thu Jan 26th 2016>

How do I make the corresponding changes in my .emacs?

  • 1
    Check out C-h v org-time-stamp-formats and C-h f format-time-string. AFAIK, there isn't a built-in way to suffix the likes of st, nd, rd, th after the dates. Without those suffixes, the answer is easy. Update: Well, looks like there is a way to add those ordinal suffixes. Jan 27, 2016 at 4:56
  • 2
    Actually org-display-custom-times and org-time-stamp-custom-formats might be the variables designed for user to tweak. Jan 27, 2016 at 5:08

1 Answer 1


You can start with something like this:

(setq-default org-display-custom-times t)
(setq org-time-stamp-custom-formats '("<%a %b %e %Y>" . "<%a %b %e %Y %H:%M>"))

This will give you <Thu Jan 26 2016> for date timestamps or <Thu Jan 26 2016 11:30> for timestamps with times. If you want zero-padded dates instead of blank-padded dates use %d instead of %e above (e.g., if you want 09 instead of 9, but I figured blank-padded would be better if you figure out a way to add the ordinal suffix). For a comprehensive list of the formatting symbols, see here. You can try to combine this with the solution here as suggested by @KaushalModi, but I haven't gotten that to work yet.

Also, if you use custom timestamps in org-mode, be aware that there are sometimes undesired side-effects: see this question and answer and this page from the org manual.

  • @KaushalModi, thanks for the highlighting! I wasn't sure how to do that!
    – elethan
    Jan 27, 2016 at 18:35
  • 1
    You are welcome! Just for reference for anyone else, put <!-- language: lang-el --> followed by a blank line at the top of a code block. If you have only elisp code blocks but many of them, you can put just one <!-- language-all: lang-el --> at the top of the post. Jan 27, 2016 at 18:38

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