Changing Formats of Periods

You can change the short format that will be used to display years and the long and short formats that will be used to display all the other types of periods—quarters, months, and (for Financial Management) weeks. To do so, before you run the script to add periods, you modify the periods_<language>.conf configuration files as desired for each installed language. The script refers to these configuration files as it generates periods.

When the script is run to generate periods after you change any language configuration files, the changes are applied to all previously generated periods and to the new periods the script generates. For information about the affected functions in PPM, see Scope of Changes to Fiscal Periods.

The formats of periods in each periods_<language>.conf file are specified using the following:

  • The tokens shown in Table 2-1. Tokens for formatting periods

  • Text characters such as the following:

    • Q for quarter

    • The slash (/) to separate month and day

  • Table 2-1. Tokens for formatting periods



    Example of Resolved Token


    Long format for calendar year



    Short format for calendar year



    Long format for fiscal year



    Short format for fiscal year



    Sequence number

    3, for the third in a sequence, as in the third quarter of the year (Q3)


    Long text format for month



    Short text format for month



    Numeric format for month

    09, for the ninth month of the year


    Numeric format for day

    15, for the 15th day of the month

The default period formats are shown in Table 2-2. Default period formats, and they are the same for all languages in the various periods_<language>.conf files. You can configure the same or different period formats for different languages.

Table 2-2. Default period formats

Period Name

Default Format






H{seq} {yyyy}

H2 2010


H{seq} {yy}

H2 10


Q{seq} {yyyy}

Q3 2010


Q{seq} {yy}

Q3 10


{month} {cccc}

September 2010


{mon} {cc}

Sep 10







    a.    Half-years are not used in PPM at this time.

Note: The long format for years is {yyyy} and it cannot be changed, so it is not available to modify.

The default long format for month names displayed in PPM includes calendar years in the 4-digit format {cccc}. The default short format for month names includes calendar years in the 2-digit format {cc}. You can change these formats to use fiscal years {yyyy} or {yy}.

Note: This procedure changes period data in the database. We recommend that you back up the configuration files before modifying them.

To change the short format for years, or the long or short formats for half-years, quarters, months, or weeks, for a language:

  1. Open the periods_<language>.conf configuration file for the language in the <PPM_Home>/conf/fiscal directory. See the System Requirements and Compatibility Matrix for supported languages and the language code to use in the file name periods_<language>.conf.

    Caution: Do not delete any of the parameters in the periods_<language>.conf file or change their names. Change only their values, as needed.

  2. Copy and paste the formats to be changed (see Table 2-2. Default period formats), then comment out the original formats by typing # at the start of each one to be changed.

  3. Use the tokens in Table 2-1. Tokens for formatting periods and text characters to modify the period formats as desired.

    For example, if you want to display all four digits of the year wherever month and year appear, even when the month uses its short text format, change the copied line:



    FORMAT_MONTH_SHORT_NAME={mon} {cccc}

    In this way, for example, a display that would have been Sep. 10 by default becomes Sep 2010, which would not be misconstrued as September 10th in any context.

    As another example, if you want to use hyphens instead of slashes in the long format for weeks, replace the “/” text character with the “-” text character to change the copied line:




  4. Save and close the periods_<language>.conf configuration file.

  5. We recommend that you perform step 1 through step 4 for each configured language at this time, changing the period formats as desired.

    However, any time after you run the script to add the periods, you can update the language configuration files and run the script with the -language argument to change existing period formats for the language or languages you specify. For more information, see Generating Periods in Additional Languages.

  6. Return to Introduction to the Script and Associated Configuration Files to determine whether you need to change configuration files further. If not, proceed to Generating Periods.