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Old 08-10-2010, 03:04 PM
bholas bholas is offline
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Apr 2010
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Default How to display the last modified date

So you want to display the date your page was last modified? It's just a matter of displaying the document.lastModified property in JavaScript, but displaying it in a more user-friendly format is going to take some code.
If you're in a hurry, simply copy and paste the following code on to your web page (where you want the last modified date to appear):

// format date as dd-mmm-yy
// example: 12-Jan-99
function date_ddmmmyy(date)
var d = date.getDate();
var m = date.getMonth() + 1;
var y = date.getYear();

// handle different year values
// returned by IE and NS in
// the year 2000.
if(y >= 2000)
y -= 2000;
if(y >= 100)
y -= 100;

// could use splitString() here
// but the following method is
// more compatible
var mmm =
( 1==m)?'Jan' 2==m)?'Feb'3==m)?'Mar':
( 4==m)?'Apr' 5==m)?'May'6==m)?'Jun':
( 7==m)?'Jul' 8==m)?'Aug'9==m)?'Sep':

return "" +
(d<10?"0"+d:d) + "-" +
mmm + "-" +

// get last modified date of the
// current document.
function date_lastmodified()
var lmd = document.lastModified;
var s = "Unknown";
var d1;

// check if we have a valid date
// before proceeding
if(0 != (d1=Date.parse(lmd)))
s = "" + date_ddmmmyy(new Date(d1));

return s;

// finally display the last modified date
// as DD-MMM-YY
"This page was updated on " +
date_lastmodified() );

// -->

How does it work?
  • First we check the document.lastModified property for a valid date using "Date.parse()". This check is necessary because some web servers may not return the last modified date. Also, some browsers may suppress this information for security reasons.
  • Then we simply call "date_ddmmmyy()" function to format document.lastModified into a more readable date.
To get around Year 2000 (Y2K) issues related to the date returned by the document.lastModified property and JavaScript implementations of some browsers, we're displaying the default 2 digit year in this example. Even the "getFullYear()" function used to get the 4 digit year does not work as documented on all browsers when combined with document.lastModified.

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