How to show date and time on your digital picture frame

One of the more recent features of the image viewer Pi3D PictureFrame is the option to show the date and time as a text overlay over your photos. In this article, I will show you how to do it and what formatting options you can use.

Tested with: Raspberry Pi OS Buster Desktop 2021 version, Raspberry Pi Zero 2, 2, 3, and 4, Pi3D 2.49, PictureFrame 2021.11.04, 1080p, and 4K displays.

In the configuration.yaml file you will see this section:

  show_clock: True                       # default=False, True shows clock overlay. False does not show clock overlay
  clock_justify: "R"                     # default="R", clock justification L, C, or R
  clock_text_sz: 40                      # default=120, clock character size
  clock_format: "%a - %b %d %H:%M"       # default="%I:%M", strftime format for clock string

To activate the clock feature, say “True”.

You can position the clock either left (L), right (R), or center (C) at the top of the photo.

Play around with the font size so that it is not big but still easy to read for you.

Regarding the format, you have a lot of choices and you can find full documentation here.

You can either just show the time, date, 12/24 format, day of the week, etc. to make it just right for your needs.

Here are three examples:

“Monday, Dec 27, 2021” is

clock_format: "%A, %b %d, %Y"


clock_format: "%H:%M:%S"

or in 12h time format “3:00:31 pm”

clock_format: "%r"


If you place your Raspberry Pi photo frame on a desktop, showing the time and/or date is a feature that many people like to have. It’s probably less relevant for large wall-mounted frames but having the option is nice.

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