Usage: $datetime([format])
Category: information
Implemented: Picard 2.3


Returns the current date and time in the specified format, which is based on the standard Python strftime format codes. If no format is specified the date and time will be returned in the form ‘2020-02-15 14:26:32’.


Any special characters such as ‘%’, ‘$’, ‘(‘, ‘)’ and ‘\’ will need to be escaped as shown in the examples below.


Platform-specific formatting codes should be avoided to help ensure the portability of scripts across the different platforms. These codes include: remove zero-padding (e.g.: %-d and %-m on Linux or macOS, and their equivalents %#d and %#m on Windows); element length specifiers (e.g.: %3Y); and hanging ‘%’ at the end of the format string.


The following statements will return the values indicated:

$datetime()                         ==>  "2020-02-15 14:26:32"
$datetime(\%Y-\%m-\%d \%H:\%M:\%S)  ==>  "2020-02-15 14:26:32"
$datetime(\%Y-\%m-\%d)              ==>  "2020-02-15"
$datetime(\%H:\%M:\%S)              ==>  "14:26:32"
$datetime(\%B \%d, \%Y)             ==>  "February 15, 2020"