How do I create a custom logger Formatter?

To create a custom Formatter we need to extends the java.util.logging.Formatter abstract class and implements the format(LogRecord) method. In the method then we can format the log message stored in the LogRecord to match our need.

The java.util.logging.Formatter class also have the getHead(Handler) and getTail(Handler) which can be overridden to add a head and a tail to our log message.

package org.kodejava.example.util.logging;

import java.text.DateFormat;
import java.text.SimpleDateFormat;
import java.util.Date;
import java.util.logging.*;

public class LogCustomFormatter {
    public static void main(String[] args) {
        Logger logger = Logger.getLogger(LogCustomFormatter.class.getName());

        MyFormatter formatter = new MyFormatter();
        ConsoleHandler handler = new ConsoleHandler();

        logger.addHandler(handler);"Example of creating custom formatter.");
        logger.warning("A warning message.");
        logger.severe("A severe message.");

class MyFormatter extends Formatter {
    // Create a DateFormat to format the logger timestamp.
    private static final DateFormat df = new SimpleDateFormat("dd/MM/yyyy hh:mm:ss.SSS");

    public String format(LogRecord record) {
        StringBuilder builder = new StringBuilder(1000);
        builder.append(df.format(new Date(record.getMillis()))).append(" - ");
        builder.append(record.getSourceMethodName()).append("] - ");
        builder.append("[").append(record.getLevel()).append("] - ");
        return builder.toString();

    public String getHead(Handler h) {
        return super.getHead(h);

    public String getTail(Handler h) {
        return super.getTail(h);

Below is an output produced by the custom formatter above.

01/05/2009 06:22:09.372 - [org.kodejava.example.util.logging.LogCustomFormatter.main] - [INFO] - Example of creating custom formatter.
01/05/2009 06:22:09.374 - [org.kodejava.example.util.logging.LogCustomFormatter.main] - [WARNING] - A warning message.
01/05/2009 06:22:09.374 - [org.kodejava.example.util.logging.LogCustomFormatter.main] - [SEVERE] - A severe message.

Wayan Saryada

Programmer, runner, recreational diver, currently living in the island of Bali, Indonesia. Mostly programming in Java, creating web based application with Spring Framework, Hibernate / JPA.


  1. Why did you explicitly create a new ConsoleHandler? Why can’t you re-use the handler it has? for example:

    for (Handler handler : logger.getHandlers()) {

    ^ this doesn’t work for me. but I don’t know why. šŸ™


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