ORA-01830: date format picture ends before converting entire input string

About the error message.

I am confused. Which picture is the error message talking about? All I provided was a date.

2 Answers 2


The "format picture" refers to the format mask. If you are doing an explicit conversion using the TO_DATE function, the format picture is the second argument

to_date( input_string, format_picture )


to_date( '2011-01-01 01:23:45', 'YYYY-MM-DD' )

In this case, the format picture is the "YYYY-MM-DD". This expression raises the ORA-01830 error because the input string contains more data than the format picture is capable of handling.

If, on the other hand, you are doing an implicit conversion, the format picture refer's to the session's NLS_DATE_FORMAT which Oracle uses in its own implicit TO_DATE call.


This means that you have provided more than just a date. Perhaps an extra space, or you have provided a time but are asking it to format just a date.

05/06/2009 11:08:49 PM

alter session set nls_date_format='DD/MM/YYYY';

sqlldr . . .

ORA-01830 date format picture ends before converting entire input string

  • yes, I understand the problem, but what does format picture refer to?
    – Lazer
    Aug 22, 2011 at 20:35
  • "DD/MM/YYYY" is the format picture in the sample.
    – mrdenny
    Aug 22, 2011 at 21:22
  • I prefer to use alter session set nls_date_format = 'yyyy-mm-dd hh24:mi:ss'
    – bernd_k
    Aug 23, 2011 at 4:40

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