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Find Dates

This tool extracts dates from an HTML document, either from a web address or uploaded from the user’s files. Users can choose to extract all dates, or limit the results to years, months, weeks, seasons, North American holidays or user defined dates such as specific months, weeks, seasons or holidays.

Please click the ? buttons at the bottom right of each set of options for more information on that set.

For further information on this tool, please see the TADA Wiki's Date Finder entry here. A glossary of terms is also available here.


To generate a list of all dates found in, searching only the text found between <body> and </body>, and display the results as an HTML page:
  1. Source text
    1. Enter ‘’ into the ‘URL’ field.
  2. Subtext limited to
    1. Enter ‘body’ in the ‘Elements’ field.
  3. Dates limited to
    1. Click the radio button next to ‘All dates’.
    2. Results
      1. Set the ‘Display as’ field to ‘HTML’.
    3. Click the ‘Submit’ button to process the text.
» Source text


This section determines the source of the document you wish the tool to process. HTML can be obtained either from a web address or by uploading a file.


Source URL
To use content from a web page, enter a full web address (URL) in the field provided. Copy and paste from your browser’s address bar for best results.

Local file
To upload an HTML (.html) file from your computer, choose ‘Local file,’ click ‘Browse,’ and select the file you wish to use from your directory.
» Subtext limited to
(separate multiple elements with a `,')

This section determines which HTML elements (tags) to extract text from.


Use this field to specify which HTML tags to extract text from. Multiple tags must be separated by commas (ex: 'p, h1, h2'). This field defaults to 'body'.
» Date limited to

(name of month, year, week, season or holiday)

This section defines what types of date, such as days of the week, months or holidays, to extract from the source text. The tool will provide the sentence in which that date type appears in the results.


All dates
Extracts all possible dates from all categories (years, months, weeks, seasons and holidays) from the source text.

Extract only years from the source text.

Extract only the names of months from the source text.

Extract only the names of the days of the week from the source text.

Extract only the names of seasons (spring, summer, fall/autumn, winter) from the source text.

North American holidays (national and statutory)
Extract the names of North American holidays (national and statutory only) from the source text.

User date
Use this field to search for specific dates or holidays in the source text; this field is particularly useful for searching region-specific or country-specific holidays not recognized as national or statutory across North America, such as Heritage Day, Victoria Day or Remembrance Day. Separate multiple dates or holidays with commas.
» Results

This section allows the user to choose the format of the aggregated text.


Display as
This drop-down lists enables users to choose from several output formats: HTML, XML text in HTML, XML tree, and Tab delimited text. Note: XML outputs are not available for the Find Dates tool.

Display words before and after the pattern
Check this box to show the words that appear before and after the pattern in the results Note: Concordance only.

Open results in new window
Check this box to display the results in a new window or browser tab. This option is selected by default. Some pop-up blockers may prevent a new window from being opened; if so, un-check the box to open the results in the same window instead.
`*' indicates a required field



TAPoRware Project, McMaster University,