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I’ve been using the amazing Intl API to format dates (DateTimeFormat) to localized formats. Today I learned about another part of the API, ListFormat, which, as the name might suggest, formats lists.

const cats = ['Cat', 'Tiger', 'Lion']
const formatter = new Intl.ListFormat()

// "Cat, Tiger and Lion"

// { locale: 'en-GB', type: 'conjunction', style: 'long' }

ListFormat accepts two arguments, locale and options, and both of them are optional. Using resolvedOptions() we can see what the default values. locale is based on my system locale.

The type option has three possible values and controls the formatting of the message.

  • conjunction: “and”-based lists (A, B, and C)
  • disjunction: “or”-based lists (A, B, or C)
  • unit: “unit”-based lists (1 kg, 4 meters, 10 elephants)

The style option also has three possible values, long, short, and narrow, and controls the length of the formatted message. The output differences will vary between locales. When style is short or narrow, unit is the only allowed type option.

The base English locale, en, and the American locale, en-US includes an Oxford comma for con-/disjunctions. There’s currently no option to remove it, but you can use the British English locale, en-GB, which doesn’t include the comma.

Browser support is great, with everything except IE supporting it.

Examples #

const cats = ['Cat', 'Tiger', 'Lion']

function formatter(locale, options) {
  return new Intl.ListFormat(locale, options)

// Default formatting { style: 'long', type: 'conjunction' }
// "Cat, Tiger, and Lion"

// Format using "or" in Swedish
  formatter('sv', { style: 'short', type: 'disjunction' }).format(cats)
// "Cat, Tiger eller Lion"

// Format using "narrow" style in English
	formatter('en', { style: 'narrow', type: 'unit' }).format(cats)
// "Cat Tiger Lion"

// Format data containing units
const units = ['1 dl', '4 kg', '10 centimeters']

	formatter('en', { style: 'short', type: 'unit' }).format(units)
// "1 dl, 4 kg, 10 centimeters"

  • Intl. (2022-02-02). Intl.ListFormat() constructor. Link
  • Eric Clemmons. (2022-02-01). Tweet

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