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convert {value |container}[from  ¬
   formatName  [and formatName]] ¬
   to formatName [and formatName]

The convert command changes a value expressed as a valid date, time, or date and time format to another format.

You use and formatName in combination with the first formatName to convert a value to any two formats (often the date and time).

The form convert value to formatName returns the converted value in the local variable it. The form convert container to formatName converts a value in a chunk or container (including variables) and places the result in that chunk or container.

You use the form from format in situations where you don't want HyperCard to do the conversion automatically.

There are four types of date formats:

  • seconds, a positive integer equal to the number of seconds since 12:00 midnight on January 1, 1904
  • dateItems, a comma-delimited list of seven positive integers equal to the following values: year, month, day, hour, minute, second, dayNumber where dayNumber 1 = Sunday and 7 = Saturday.
  • date, which has one of three formats:
    • [dayName,] monthName, day, year
    • month/day/year
    • month-day-year

where dayName = Sunday, Sun, Monday, Mon, Tuesday, Tue, Wednesday, Wed, Thursday, Thur, Friday, Fri, Saturday, or Sat

monthName = January, Jan, February, Feb, March, Mar, April, Apr, May, June, Jun, July, Jul, August, Aug, September, Sep, October, Oct, November, Nov, December, or Dec

  • time, which has the following format: hour:minute[:second] [timeOfDay] where timeOfDay = am or pm

You can precede the format names date and time with an optional adjective, producing the following formats:

abbrev date  Fri, Jun 15, 1990
long date    Friday, June 15, 1990
short date   6/15/90

abbrev time  3:30 PM
long time        3:30:00 PM
short time       3:30 PM

Note: HyperCard can handle dates from 1/1/1000 to 12/31/9999 in all formats. It handles dates from 1/1/1 to 12/31/9999 only in the dateItems or seconds format. If you try to convert an invalid date (such as "Friday, May 50, 1990"), HyperCard sets the HyperTalk function the result to "Invalid date."

When System 7.1 is running, HyperCard uses the date and time settings from the Date & Time Control Panel.


convert "1/1/1960" to seconds -- the result goes into the variable it
convert "1/1/1960" to seconds and long date
convert (the seconds - startSeconds) to abbreviated time

convert bkgnd field "date" to seconds -- the result goes into the field
convert last word of field "Info" to short date

convert totalTime to abbreviated time -- the result goes into totalTime

convert field 1 from date to dateItems
convert myVar from seconds to long date
convert card field "Date and Time" from date and time to dateItems

Demo Script

on daysOld
   repeat until birthTime is a date
     put "What is your birthdate?" after sayIt
     ask sayIt with the short date
     if (it is empty) OR (the result is "Cancel") then exit daysOld
     put it into birthTime
     if birthTime is not a number
     then put birthTime && "is not a valid date." & return into sayIt
   end repeat
   convert birthTime to seconds -- change birthTime to seconds
   convert the date to seconds  -- get the current date
   put (it - birthTime) / 86400 into daysOld   -- 86400 seconds in 1 day
   convert birthTime to long date
   answer "You were born on" && birthTime & ", and you are currently" &&¬
   daysOld && "days old."
 end daysOld


HyperTalk DefinitionA place where you can store and retrieve a value.

There are six types of containers in HyperCard: a variable, a button, a field, the selection, the Message box, and menus.

[the] selection
the Message box
btn 3
bg btn "Names"
card field 1
bkgnd field "Total"
menu 2
menu "Edit"
Additionally, you can refer to a button or field by its part number:

card part 1
last background part
AppleScript DefinitionAn object that contains one or more other objects, known as elements of the container. In a reference, the container specifies where to find an object. You specify containers with the reserved words of or in.

You can also use the possesive form ('s) to specify containers. For example, in

first window's name
the container is first window. The object it contains is a name property.

One of the following names of a date or time format:

[adjective ] date[adjective ] time

For example:

abbr date
abbr time
abbrev date
abbrev time
abbreviated date
abbreviated time
long date
long time
short date
short time

One of the following:

See also: formatName

Related Topics

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