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Formatting of fields

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Numerical fields and date or time fields can be displayed in many different ways. This can be controlled with format strings, which represent the output formatting in a symbolical way.

 

numerical fields:

 

Specifier                                Represents        

0                place holder. If the value being formatted has a digit in the position where the '0' appears in the format string, that digit is copied to the output string. Otherwise, a '0' is stored in that position in the output string.        

#                placeholder. If the value being formatted has a digit in the position where the '#' appears in the format string, that digit is copied to the output string. Otherwise, nothing is stored in that position in the output string.        

.                point. The first '.' character in the format string determines the location of the decimal separator in the formatted value; any additional '.' characters are ignored. The actual character used as the decimal separator in the output string is specified in the Number Format of the International section in the Windows Control Panel.        

,                separator. If the format string contains one or more ',' characters, the output will have thousand separators inserted between each group of three digits to the left of the decimal point. The placement and number of ',' characters in the format string does not affect the output, except to indicate that thousand separators are wanted. The actual character used as the thousand separator in the output is specified in the Number Format of the International section in the Windows Control Panel.        

E+                notation. If any of the strings 'E+', 'E-', 'e+', or 'e-' are contained in the format string, the number is formatted using scientific notation. A group of up to four '0' characters can immediately follow the 'E+', 'E-', 'e+', or 'e-' to determine the minimum number of digits in the exponent. The 'E+' and 'e+' formats cause a plus sign to be output for positive exponents and a minus sign to be output for negative exponents. The 'E-' and 'e-' formats output a sign character only for negative exponents.        

'xx'/"xx'                enclosed in single or double quotes are output as-is, and do not affect formatting.        

;                sections for positive, negative, and zero numbers in the format string.        

 

The locations of the leftmost '0' before the decimal point in the format string and the rightmost '0' after the decimal point in the format string determine the range of digits that are always present in the output string.

The number being formatted is always rounded to as many decimal places as there are digit placeholders ('0' or '#') to the right of the decimal point. If the format string contains no decimal point, the value being formatted is rounded to the nearest whole number.

 

If the number being formatted has more digits to the left of the decimal separator than there are digit placeholders to the left of the '.' character in the format string, the extra digits are output before the first digit placeholder.

 

To allow different formats for positive, negative, and zero values, the format string can contain between one and three sections separated by semicolons.

 

·        One section: The format string applies to all values.
·        Two sections: The first section applies to positive values and zeros, and the second section applies to negative values.
·        Three sections: The first section applies to positive values, the second applies to negative values, and the third applies to zeros.

 

If the section for negative values or the section for zero values is empty, that is if there is nothing between the semicolons that delimit the section, the section for positive values is used instead.

If the section for positive values is empty, or if the entire format string is empty, the value is formatted using general floating-point formatting with 15 significant digits. General floating-point formatting is also used if the value has more than 18 digits to the left of the decimal point and the format string does not specify scientific notation.

 

Date/Time:

 

The following formatting options are available for date and time:

 

Specifier                        

c                the date using the format given by Windows' default short date format , followed by the time using the format given by the default Windows long time format. The time is not displayed if the fractional part of the DateTime value is zero.        

d                the day as a number without a leading zero (1-31).        

dd                the day as a number with a leading zero (01-31).        

ddd                the day as an abbreviation (Sun-Sat).        

dddd                the day as a full name (Sunday-Saturday).        

ddddd                the date in short format        

dddddd                the date in long format.        

m                the month as a number without a leading zero (1-12). If the m specifier immediately follows an h or hh specifier, the minute rather than the month is displayed.        

mm                the month as a number with a leading zero (01-12). If the mm specifier immediately follows an h or hh specifier, the minute rather than the month is displayed.        

mmm                the month as an abbreviation (Jan-Dec).        

mmmm                the month as a full name (January-December).        

yy                the year as a two-digit number (00-99).        

yyy                the year as a four-digit number (0000-9999).        

h                the hour without a leading zero (0-23).        

hh                the hour with a leading zero (00-23).        

n                the minute without a leading zero (0-59).        

nn                the minute with a leading zero (00-59).        

s                the second without a leading zero (0-59).        

ss                the second with a leading zero (00-59).        

t                the time using in short format.        

tt                the time in long format.        

am/pm                the 12-hour clock for the preceding h or hh specifier, and displays 'am' for any hour before noon, and 'pm' for any hour after noon. The am/pm specifier can use lower, upper, or mixed case, and the result is displayed accordingly.        

a/p                the 12-hour clock for the preceding h or hh specifier, and displays 'a' for any hour before noon, and 'p' for any hour after noon. The a/p specifier can use lower, upper, or mixed case, and the result is displayed accordingly.        

ampm                the 12-hour clock for the preceding h or hh specifier, and displays the contents of the TimeAMString global variable for any hour before noon, and the contents of the TimePMString global variable for any hour after noon.        

/                the date separator character given by the Windows country settings.        

:                the time separator character given by the Windows country settings.        

'xx'/"xx"                enclosed in single or double quotes are displayed as-is, and do not affect formatting.        

 

Format specifiers may be written in upper case as well as in lower case letters--both produce the same result.