How can I call the $created variable in my content type node template? I tried the following but it just produces what seems to be a random string of numbers:

        <?php print render($created); ?>

2 Answers 2


The $created variable is just a number, but it's not random it is a unix timestamp of the node created date.

Since it is not a render array you do not print it using the render() function, you would just print it like this:

<?php print $created; ?>

However that is also probably not what you want because you probably want a human readable date/time, not a unix time stamp.

As you can see in the main variable preprocess function for the node template (template_preprocess_node()), there is also a variable $date, which is a formatted date based on the $created variable. That will default to using your website's medium date format.

You can use it like this:

<?php print $date; ?>

If that is not the format you want you can also manually use the format_date() function to format it to your requirements like this:

<?php print format_date($created, 'short'); ?>

or like this for something more custom:

<?php print format_date($created, 'custom', 'd/m/Y'); ?>

See the php date() documentation for more information on custom date format options.


This can vary from theme to theme so you can look in your template.php for the hook_preprocess_node(). This is where you can alter and set variables for your node.tpl.php. The $submitted variable could be used or modified in this case.

 * Implements hook_preprocess_node().
function my_theme_preprocess_node(&$variables) {
  // Alter the submitted variable, just on blog type.
  if ($variables['type'] == 'blog') {
    $variables['submitted'] = format_date($variables['created']);
  // Or define a new variable for your node.tpl.php
  $variables['created_date'] = format_date($variables['created']);

Print the variable in your node.tpl.php

<?php print $created_date ?>

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