Documentation

format

Set Command Window output display format

Description

example

format style changes the output display format in the Command Window to the format specified by style.

example

format, by itself, resets the output format to the default, which is the short, fixed-decimal format for floating-point notation and loose line spacing for all output lines.

Numeric formats affect only how numbers appear in Command Window output, not how MATLAB® computes or saves them.

Examples

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Set the output format to the long fixed-decimal format and display the value of pi.

format long
pi
ans =
3.141592653589793

Set the output format to the short engineering format with compact line spacing, and then reset the format to the default.

format shortEng
format compact
x = rand(3)
x = 3×3

814.7237e-003   913.3759e-003   278.4982e-003
905.7919e-003   632.3592e-003   546.8815e-003
126.9868e-003    97.5404e-003   957.5068e-003

format
x
x = 3×3

0.8147    0.9134    0.2785
0.9058    0.6324    0.5469
0.1270    0.0975    0.9575

Display the maximum values for integers and real numbers in hexadecimal format.

format hex
intmax('uint64')
ans = uint64
ffffffffffffffff

realmax
ans =
7fefffffffffffff

Display the difference between shortEng and longEng formats.

Set the output format to shortEng.

format shortEng

Create a variable and increase its value by a multiple of 10 each time through a for loop.

A = 5.123456789;
for k = 1:10
disp(A)
A = A*10;
end
5.1235e+000

51.2346e+000

512.3457e+000

5.1235e+003

51.2346e+003

512.3457e+003

5.1235e+006

51.2346e+006

512.3457e+006

5.1235e+009

The values display with 4 digits after the decimal point and an exponent that is a multiple of 3.

Set the output format to the long engineering format and view the same values.

format longEng

A = 5.123456789;
for k = 1:10
disp(A)
A = A*10;
end
5.12345678900000e+000

51.2345678900000e+000

512.345678900000e+000

5.12345678900000e+003

51.2345678900000e+003

512.345678900000e+003

5.12345678900000e+006

51.2345678900000e+006

512.345678900000e+006

5.12345678900000e+009

The values display with 15 digits and an exponent that is a multiple of 3.

Use the shortG format when some of the values in an array are short numbers and some have large exponents. The shortG format picks whichever short fixed-decimal format or short scientific notation has the most compact display.

Create a variable and display output in the short format, which is the default.

x = [25 56.31156 255.52675 9876899999];
format short
x
x = 1×4
109 ×

0.0000    0.0000    0.0000    9.8769

Set the format to shortG and redisplay the values.

format shortG
x
x = 1×4

25       56.312       255.53   9.8769e+09

Get the current numeric format.

f = get(0,'Format')
f =

shortG

Get the current line spacing, which can be set to loose or compact.

S = get(0,'FormatSpacing')
S =

loose

Input Arguments

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Output display format, specified as one of these options.

Numeric Format

These styles control the output display format for numeric variables.

Style

Result

Example

short (default)

Short, fixed-decimal format with 4 digits after the decimal point.

3.1416

long

Long, fixed-decimal format with 15 digits after the decimal point for double values, and 7 digits after the decimal point for single values.

3.141592653589793

shortE

Short scientific notation with 4 digits after the decimal point.

3.1416e+00

longE

Long scientific notation with 15 digits after the decimal point for double values, and 7 digits after the decimal point for single values.

3.141592653589793e+00

shortG

Short, fixed-decimal format or scientific notation, whichever is more compact, with a total of 5 digits.

3.1416

longG

Long, fixed-decimal format or scientific notation, whichever is more compact, with a total of 15 digits for double values, and 7 digits for single values.

3.14159265358979

shortEng

Short engineering notation (exponent is a multiple of 3) with 4 digits after the decimal point.

3.1416e+000

longEng

Long engineering notation (exponent is a multiple of 3) with 15 significant digits.

3.14159265358979e+000

+

Positive/Negative format with +, -, and blank characters displayed for positive, negative, and zero elements.

+

bank

Currency format with 2 digits after the decimal point.

3.14

hex

Hexadecimal representation of a binary double-precision number.

400921fb54442d18

rat

Ratio of small integers.

355/113

Line Spacing Format

Style

Result

Example

compact

Suppress excess blank lines to show more output on a single screen.

theta = pi/2
theta =
1.5708

loose

Add blank lines to make output more readable.

theta = pi/2

theta =

1.5708

Tips

• The specified format applies only to the current MATLAB session. To maintain a format across sessions, choose a Numeric format or Numeric display option in the Command Window Preferences.

• You can insert a space between short or long and the presentation type, for instance, format short E.

• MATLAB always displays integer data types to the appropriate number of digits for the data type. For example, MATLAB uses 3 digits to display int8 data types (for instance, -128:127). Setting the output format to short or long does not affect the display of integer-type variables.

• Integer-valued, floating-point numbers with a maximum of 9 digits do not display in scientific notation.

• If you are displaying a matrix with a wide range of values, consider using shortG. See Large Data Range Format.