I'm working on a software application where the user can add tabs showing items of the last xxx (last day, last hour, last 4 hours, last week, etc.).

These tabs do not update (we have other tabs that do), so it isn't sliding window: If the user adds at 9:00 a tab 'Last hour', it will always display the items from 8:00 to 9:00.

Now I'm looking for a good way to name these tabs. English isn't my native language so I'm thinking I may be missing some possibilities.


  • It can't be too long.

  • It must be clear to the user very fast what type of tab it is. For example just showing the timerange (for example "01/15/2017 8:56 - 01/15/2017 9:56" is too difficult to quickly see this is an hour. Especially if the user has for example 15 tabs open).

What I thought of already (but not even sure if they are correct English):

  • "Hour starting from 01/15/2017 8:58", but this is a bit too long
  • "Last hour since 01/15/2017 9:58"

Which one is more clear/correct? Any other ideas?

Also: what about custom time ranges? If the user for example selects 2 hours, 57 minutes and 31 seconds. How can we name the tab user friendly?

Edit: I'm going for "xxxx up till yyy", for example: "5 hours up till 14:43". If possible I'll round the timespans and make it: "About 5 hours up till 14:43".

  • If a user chooses an interval of 2 hours, 57 minutes, and 31 seconds, starting at 10:25:38, I don't see how there's any way of expressing that succinctly...
    – John Feltz
    Commented Jan 16, 2017 at 13:19
  • Currently that will be shown as: "About 3 hours up till 13:22:07"
    – Coder14
    Commented Jan 16, 2017 at 13:42
  • "until" or "up til" seem strange to me in a data/reporting sense, especially with the "X hours up til" usage. "prior to" seems more natural.
    – John Feltz
    Commented Jan 16, 2017 at 14:24

1 Answer 1


I would suggest simply showing the start and end times, as in one of these examples:

  • 16-Jan-2017 13:09 - 14:09
  • 16-Jan-2017 13:09 to 14:09
  • 15-Jan-2017 23:09 - 16-Jan-2017 02:09
  • 13:09 to 14:09
  • 2017-01-15 13:09 to 2017-01-15 14:09

This approach is nearly always shorter and clearer than trying to describe the interval in words.

(As you've probably noticed I would also recommend against using the mm/dd/yyyy or dd/mm/yyyy date formats, but that's something for another forum).

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