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A Ruby library to compute distance of dates in words. Originally built for Jekyll, as a Liquid extension.

Main features:

  • Compute distance of dates in words, ie: 1 week and 2 days ago, 5 months ago, in 1 year
  • Future times.
  • Out of the box support for Jekyll (v1, v2 and v3) projects, available as a Liquid Filter and as a Liquid Tag.
  • Localization (i18n).
  • Level of detail.
  • Available via the command line.

In fact, jekyll-timeago started just as an extension for Liquid template engine, to be used in Jekyll and Octopress backed sites. But actually, you can use it easily in any Ruby project. Read more about usage outside Jekyll in this section.


You have different options to install and plugging it into Jekyll projects:

Via Jekyll plugin system (recommended)

Install the gem to your system:

gem install jekyll-timeago

In your _config.yml file, add a new array with the key gems and the values of the gem names of the plugins you’d like to use. In this case:

  - jekyll-timeago

Via Bundler

Add this gem to your Gemfile and run bundle install:

group :jekyll_plugins do
  gem 'jekyll-timeago'

Manually (less recommended)

Alternatively, you can simply copy the files under lib/jekyll-timeago directly into your _plugins/ directory. All those files will be loaded by Jekyll.


By default, the timeago helper computes distance of dates from passed date to current date (using But you are able to modify this range by passing a second argument. Examples:

Filter example:

<p>{{ | timeago }}</p>

Passing a parameter:

<p>{{ | timeago: '2020-1-1' }}</p>

Tag example:

<p>{% timeago 2000-1-1 %}</p>

Passing a second parameter:

<p>{% timeago 2000-1-1 2010-1-1 %}</p>


This plugin allows you to localize the strings needed to build the sentences. To do this, you just need to add some extra keys in your _config.yml. You can simply copy them from one of the provided examples. Or even, translate it to your site's language just overriding it.

English example (default):

  depth: 2 # Level of detail
  today: 'today'
  yesterday: 'yesterday'
  tomorrow: 'tomorrow'
  and: 'and'
  suffix: 'ago'
  prefix: ''
  suffix_future: ''
  prefix_future: 'in'
  years: 'years'
  year: 'year'
  months: 'months'
  month: 'month'
  weeks: 'weeks'
  week: 'week'
  days: 'days'
  day: 'day'

NOTE You also can play with suffixes and prefixes to modify the sentences. For example, set suffix: nil and you'll get only the distance of dates: 1 year, 4 months and 1 week.

Level of detail (Depth)

You are able to change the level of detail (from 1 up to 4, 2 by default) to get higher or lower granularity. This option is setted via the config file (see sample in previous section). Examples:

  • Depth => 1 1 year ago
  • Depth => 2 1 year and 4 months ago (default)
  • Depth => 3 1 year, 4 months and 1 week ago
  • Depth => 4 1 year, 4 months, 1 week and 4 days ago

Usage outside Jekyll

You just need to install the gem to your application (add gem 'jekyll-timeago' to your Gemfile). From now on, you can use the provided method by calling:

Jekyll::Timeago::Core.timeago(from, to, options)

Note, that you can use the options parameter (must be a Hash and be passed as the last parameter) to override the default localization or the level of detail, e.g.:

options = {
  "depth"  => 3,
  "prefix" => "hace",
  "months" => "meses",
  "and"    => "y",
  "week"   => "semana",
  "suffix" => nil

Or if you have the gem installed in your system and you're not using Bundler:

require 'jekyll-timeago'
puts Jekyll::Timeago::Core.timeago(from, to, options)


$ jekyll-timeago 2016-1-1
2 months and 6 days ago


Run $ jekyll-timeago --console to start a custom IRB session and play with the timeago method:

>> timeago(
=> "today"
>> timeago(
=> "yesterday"
>> timeago(
=> "1 week and 3 days ago"
>> timeago(
=> "3 months and 1 week ago"
>> timeago(
=> "1 year and 4 months ago"
>> timeago('2010-1-1', '2012-1-1')
=> "2 years ago"
>> timeago(
=> "tomorrow"
>> timeago(
=> "in 1 week"
>> timeago(
=> "in 2 years and 8 months"

You can modify globally, via the configure method, all the available options:

>> configure({ "yesterday" => "ayer" })
=> "ayer"
>> timeago(
=> "ayer"


Any kind of feedback, bug report, idea or enhancement are really appreciated.

To contribute, just fork the repo, hack on it and send a pull request. Don't forget to add specs for behaviour changes and run the test suite:

bundle exec appraisal rake

Appraisal library is used to ensure compatibility with different Jekyll versions. Check out current supported versions here.


Copyright (c) Marc Anguera. Jekyll-Timeago is released under the MIT License.