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Find Dates

This tool extracts dates from a plain text 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.

Note: This tool works best when the input is plain text. If an HTML or XML text is submitted, the tool will strip all tags and process it as plain text.

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 and display the results as an HTML page:
  1. Source text
    1. Enter ‘’ into the ‘URL’ field.
  2. 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.


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. If the web address directs to an HTML or XML document instead of plain text, the tool will strip all tags and process it as plain text.

Local file
To upload a plain text (.txt) file from your computer, choose ‘Local file,’ click ‘Browse,’ and select the file you wish to use from your directory.

» Date limited to

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

This section determines what date types to search for within the document.


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

Extracts only years from the source text.

Extracts only months from the source text.

Extracts only seasons from the source text.

North American holidays (national and statutory)
Extracts only North American holidays from the source text.

User date
Allows users to search for specific dates or holidays in the source text; this field is particularly useful for searching holidays not recognized in North America. Separate multiple dates or holidays with commas.
» Results

This section allows users to choose how the results will be formatted, and whether to display it in a new browser window.

Display as
This drop-down lists enables users to choose from two output formats, HTML and tab delimited text.

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,