Is it possible to convert a timestamp to a date format in a query?

This is the code I am using.

$query = db_select('my_submissions', 's');
$query->fields('s', array('sid','name','company','email','phone','is_customer','submitted','count'));
$entries = $query->execute();

$rows = array();
foreach ($entries as $entry) {
  $row = array_map('check_plain', (array) $entry);
  $row['submitted'] = $row['submitted'] ? date('d.m.Y H:i', $row['submitted']) : "";
  $rows[] = $row;
$select->addExpression("DATE_FORMAT(FROM_UNIXTIME(submitted), '%d.%m.%Y %H:%i')", 'submitted_formatted');


then in your loop, reference it as $row['submitted_formatted'];

  • 3
    This won't take into account the user's timezone. – mpdonadio Nov 8 '16 at 14:24

MySQL allows converting a timestamp into a formatted date, using the FROM_UNIXTIME function.

In your case, instead of the 'submitted' field, you might add an expression to the query with the addExpression method, in the following way:

$query->addExpression("FROM_UNIXTIME(submitted, '%d.%m.%Y %H:%i')");
  • 3
    This won't take into account the user's timezone. – mpdonadio Nov 8 '16 at 14:24


$select->addExpression("DATE_FORMAT(FROM_UNIXTIME(yourDBcolumn), '%d.%M.%Y')", 'c.yourDBcolumn_formatted');

Does indeed work, this is definitely not best practice if you're displaying this on a page/block.

A themer/front-end dev shouldn't have to go into PHP code to change the format of the date.

It's best practice for your custom module to have a template file where they can easily format it with Twig's |date filter

{{ mydate|date }}           <!-- November 17, 2019 23:12 -->
{{ mydate|date('d/m/Y') }}  <!-- 17/11/2019 -->

Also, you could add timezone here, ex:

{{ mydate|date('d/m/Y', 'Europe/Paris') }} 

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