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Countdown Timers

A countdown timer is a time instrument that counts the time down. To create a countdown timer, right-click on an existing clock and select the Add timer option.

Creating a countdown timer using World Clock menu
Creating a countdown timer using World Clock menu

Another way to create a timer is from Preferences. When any clock node is selected in navigation tree, click the Add button below it and then select the Countdown timer option on Select Type of New Object dialog.

Creating a countdown timer using World Clock Preferences
Creating a countdown timer using World Clock Preferences

When you create a new timer, a new node is created in Preferences. It may look like this:

New countdown timer settings in World Clock Preferences
New countdown timer settings in World Clock Preferences


The options here are:
  • Location - defines time zone for the timer. It is only relevant for absolute timers that count down to a specific time point in future.
  • Label - timer label (displayed on timer).
  • Countdown to - defines where to count down to. Can be either an absolute time instance in future bound to a certain location (for example: New Year in Vancouver), or a defined time interval (for example: 30 minutes game).
  • Action on double-click - determines what happens when timer is double-clicked.
  • Show this timer - taskbar / desktop switch for timer location.
Below is an example of an absolute timer that shows the remaining time until New Year in Vancouver.

An example of taskbar countdown timer in World Clock
An example of taskbar countdown timer in World Clock

Timers, like clocks, can have alarms and color highlights. They are configured on the Alarms and Highlights sub-nodes.

Timer Formats

Similar to clock time formats, you can control how countdown timers display their readings. It is done one the Time and date display options sub-node in Preferences.

Countdown timer display formats in World Clock
Countdown timer display formats in World Clock


World Clock Timer Formats

World Clock understands the following timer formatters in the Format field on Time and date display options. You can type in your own time formatter using the following notations.
  • %W – number of whole weeks in timer value.
  • %w - same as %W.
  • %Wn – localized word for week(s) adjusted for %W number, for example: 1 week but 2 weeks for English.
  • %wn - same as %wn.
  • %D – number of whole days.
  • %d – remainder of %D divided by 7.
  • %Dn – localized word for day(s) adjusted for %D number, for example: 1 day but 2 days for English.
  • %dn – localized word for day(s) adjusted for %d number.
  • %H – number of whole hours.
  • %h – remainder of %H divided by 24.
  • %Hn – localized word for hour(s) adjusted for %H number.
  • %hn – localized word for hour(s) adjusted for %h number.
  • %M – number of whole minutes.
  • %m – remainder of %M divided by 60.
  • %Mn – localized word for minute(s) adjusted for %M number.
  • %mn – localized word for minute(s) adjusted for %m number.
  • %S – number of whole seconds.
  • %s – remainder of %S divided by 60.
  • %Sn – localized word for second(s) adjusted for %S number.
  • %sn – localized word for second(s) adjusted for %s number.
These formatters construct grammatically correct, localized strings representing time values, for example: 29 days 15 hours 1 minute until New Year. In Japanese, there is no distinction between day and days and the wording does not change much. Other languages such as French and English have one word for a singular item (1 jour) and another word for many (2 jours). Wording changes slightly as timer runs. Russian and Polish languages have more words for different number of units. The wording changes accordingly.

Additional Timer Formatting Elements

  • \n – designates a new line in timer output, when there is room for it. For example, you can display the timer in 2 lines as on the screenshot above.
  • %02m - 02 here is a minimal width specifier. It makes sure there are always 2 digits in the number of displayed minutes. 1, 2 minutes are displayed as 01, 02 and so on.

Timer Formatting Examples

Here are several countdown timer pictures that say the same thing in different ways using various timer formats.
  • %H %Hn %m %mn - %H hours %m minutes
"%H %Hn %m %mn" timer format
"%H %Hn %m %mn" timer format

  • %02h:%02m:%02s - hh:mm:ss
"%02h:%02m:%02s" timer format
"%02h:%02m:%02s" timer format

  • %H %Hn\n%m %mn %s %sn - %H hours, then %m minutes %s seconds on a new line
"%H %Hn\n%m %mn %s %sn" timer format
"%H %Hn\n%m %mn %s %sn" timer format


Controlling Timers

To control countdown timer, place mouse pointer over black triangle. When you do so, timer control panel appears.

Countdown timer control panel
Countdown timer control panel

In timer control panel, the buttons do the following:
  • Pause - pauses timer. When you press it, the timer stops running.
  • Reset - resets timer to its starting value. Available only for duration timers. Absolute timers count to a fixed time point and cannot be reset.
  • Run - resumes paused timer.

Timer control panel in a paused timer
Timer control panel in a paused timer


World Clock User Guide