A Quarto extension for inserting the current or last modified date and time


quarto add gadenbuie/quarto-now

This will install the now extension under the _extensions subdirectory. If you’re using version control, you will want to check in this directory.

Get Started

The now extension provides two shortcodes: now and modified. Both take an optional additional argument specifying the desired format of the date and/or time.

Last rendered time

Use the {{< now >}} shortcode anywhere you want to include the current date and/or time in your document.

Document last rendered: {{< now >}}.

Document last rendered: 2024-03-29 13:34:49.

“Last rendered” means the date and time when you called quarto render or when the document was rendered by quarto preview.

Because now is a shortcode, its value is re-calculated every time the document renders, even if you’ve frozen the document with freeze: true. Frozen documents don’t re-run computed code chunks, but their shortcodes are still re-evaluated.

So {{< now >}} is best for things like copyright notices in footers – try {{< now year >}} for that one – or other places where you know that quarto render is synonymous with “last updated”.

Last modified time

Alternatively, you can use the {{< modified >}} shortcode to include the last modified date and/or time of the document. This shortcode uses the modified metadata field to determine the last modified date and time of the document. On macOS and Linux, the modified timestamp can be automatically determined from the source file.

modified: "2006-05-04 12:34:56"

Document last modified: {{< modified >}}.

Document last modified: 2006-05-04 00:00:00.

Automatic file-modified detection

Automatic file-modified detection is only available on macOS and Linux, since it relies the stat command to determine the last modified time of the input document.

If you’re on Windows, or if your system doesn’t support stat, you can add modified to the document metadata to specify the last modified date and time. Use YYYY-MM-DD format with optional time HH:MM:SS in 24-hour format.

modified: 2006-05-04
# -- or --
modified: "2006-05-04 12:30"


Both {{< now >}} and {{< modified >}} shortcodes accept an optional argument specifying the desired format of the date and/or time.


You can use one of the predefined format aliases in the table below.

Shortcode Result Format String
{{< now >}}

2024-03-29 13:34:49

"%F %T"
{{< now year >}}


{{< now month >}}


{{< now day >}}


{{< now weekday >}}


{{< now hour >}}


{{< now minute >}}


{{< now ampm >}}


{{< now date >}}


{{< now time >}}


{{< now datetime >}}

Fri Mar 29 13:34:49 2024

{{< now isodate >}}


{{< now isotime >}}


{{< now isodatetime >}}


{{< now timestamp >}}

2024-03-29 13:34:49

"%F %T"

Format Strings

Alternatively, you can specify the specific format using the format strings known to the Lua function.

Value Description
%a abbreviated weekday name (e.g., Wed)
%A full weekday name (e.g., Wednesday)
%b abbreviated month name (e.g., Sep)
%B full month name (e.g., September)
%c date and time (e.g., 09/16/98 23:48:10)
%d day of the month (16) [01-31]
%H hour, using a 24-hour clock (23) [00-23]
%I hour, using a 12-hour clock (11) [01-12]
%M minute (48) [00-59]
%m month (09) [01-12]
%p either "am" or "pm" (pm)
%S second (10) [00-61]
%w weekday (3) [0-6 = Sunday-Saturday]
%x date (e.g., 09/16/98)
%X time (e.g., 23:48:10)
%Y full year (1998)
%y two-digit year (98) [00-99]
%% the character %

When using a custom format string, you can include any additional text you want. If your format string includes a space, be sure to wrap the format string in quotes.

Modified {{< modified "on %A, %B %d of %Y" >}}.

Modified on Thursday, May 04 of 2006.