How do I display the start and end date in a recurring invoice’s PDF?

You can add a date to the description field of each item and specify the start and end date of the recurring invoice. Let’s look at an example to understand why you would want to add the date:

Scenario: Alex owns a bakery and sends out assorted baked savories to his customers, weekly or monthly, depending on their plan. He wanted a way to inform his customers of the next date they will receive the savories. He can use the dates placeholders available in Zoho Books to mention a date in the recurring invoices he sends out to his customers.

To add date to the description field of an item:

  • Go to the Recurring Invoice module under Sales in the left sidebar.
  • Click the + New button to create a new recurring invoice.
  • Enter the necessary details.

  • In the Add description to your item field, under Item Details, start introducing the necessary placeholders.

  • Days are represented with %(d)%, %(day)%, or %(DAY)%,

  • Months are represented with %(m)%, %(month)%, %(MONTH)% to display the month as a word like January or %(mm)% to display the month as a number like 1)

  • Years are represented with %(y)%, %(year)%, or %(YEAR)%,

Note: You can combine the three date components under a single placeholder too (For example, %(d)(m)(y)% is a valid command)

Mentioning time frames: Frame your start and end dates in any format using the above variations. The format used to represent days, months, and years can be different.

For example, %(d)%,%(M)%,%(Year)% is a valid format even though days are represented in small letters, months in capital letters, and years are represented with the word ‘Year’.

To add or subtract days, months, or years, simply use the “+” and “-” signs. For example, %(d+15)%,%(m+3)%,%(y)% results in 15 days and 3 months being added.

Note: The placeholder’s functions are context specific. For example, to add one month, use ‘%m+1%’ rather than ‘%d+30%’ since the latter would see your date jump from March 1 to March 31 (an addition of 30 days) and not April 1 as you would require it to.

Delimiters are used in-between the date components. The valid delimiters are comma (,), hyphen (-), dot (.) and white space. If none of these delimiters are specified, space is taken as the default delimiter. Three different delimiters can be used while mentioning a date, but not more than one should be used between a pair of date components.


  • ’%d% , %m% - %y%’ (Two different delimiters comma and hyphen used between the components) - Valid format.

  • ’%d ,,%m% – %y%’ (Delimiters that are used twice between a pair of date components) - Invalid format.

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