How to get substring of a SearchKit result column? I want to truncate the event start time from 17:15:00 to just 17:15.

What I have:

  • My test setup is newest WP 6.3.2 and newest CiviCRM 5.66.0.
  • CiviEvent: several events, with a starting date and time, e.g. 17:15.
  • SearchKit: a search that gives me open events in the next 2 weeks.
    The result presents no actions, no sorting, just a static table listing.
  • Form Builder: a form to hold the results from the search.
  • WordPress: a page that contains the shortcode with my search.

What I want:

  • The final output contains a column with event start time including seconds. It is silly to show an event start time with seconds - and I understand that this comes from the timestamp format in the database.
  • I do not see any suitable field transformation that I could apply in the SearchKit.
  • In the reports output part of SearchKit, each column has the Rewrite Text function using "SMARTY conditions" but it is not clear to me how that works. My latest attempt is [{TIME_start_date|substr:0:5}] but that generates no output. Can you give an example?
  • I cannot think of another way to truncate the time value, or any way to do any kind of substring operation at all.

How can I get rid of the seconds in the time column?

event listing

field transformations

(ignore the missing localisation of the weekday and month words)

  • I think SearchKit is sorely missing a "Format Date" column setting. Do you think you could sponsor that feature?
    – Coleman
    Oct 22, 2023 at 11:15
  • Depends on what you mean by the word "sponsor", @Coleman? I sadly cannot provide funding, and my PHP skills are not up to snuff ... but I might be able to contribute in other ways. Oct 24, 2023 at 5:36

1 Answer 1


Agree with Coleman that it would be great to have Format Date in SearchDisplays.

If you want to do this in the Smarty rewrite, you can do something like {"[start_date]"|date_format:"%H:%M"}, without the field transformation.

  • I made a small adjustment to match the actual field name: {"[TIME_start_date]"|date_format:"%H:%M"} and that worked like a charm! <3 Thank you Lars! I can see this code is syntactically a little different from my previous, failed attempts. I was close though :-) Gotta learn more about how Smarty is written inside SearchKit now. Oct 24, 2023 at 5:41

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