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format(n)		     Tcl Built-In Commands		     format(n)

______________________________________________________________________________

NAME
       format - Format a string in the style of sprintf

SYNOPSIS
       format formatString ?arg arg ...?
_________________________________________________________________

INTRODUCTION
       This command generates a formatted string in the same way as the ANSI C
       sprintf procedure (it uses sprintf  in  its  implementation).   Format‐
       String  indicates  how  to format the result, using % conversion speci‐
       fiers as in sprintf, and the additional arguments, if any, provide val‐
       ues to be substituted into the result.  The return value from format is
       the formatted string.

DETAILS ON FORMATTING
       The command operates by scanning formatString from left to right.  Each
       character  from	the  format  string  is	 appended to the result string
       unless it is a percent sign.  If the character is a % then  it  is  not
       copied  to  the result string.  Instead, the characters following the %
       character are treated as a conversion specifier.	 The conversion speci‐
       fier controls the conversion of the next successive arg to a particular
       format and the result is appended to the result string in place of  the
       conversion  specifier.	If there are multiple conversion specifiers in
       the format string, then each one controls the conversion of  one	 addi‐
       tional  arg.   The format command must be given enough args to meet the
       needs of all of the conversion specifiers in formatString.

       Each conversion specifier may contain up to  six	 different  parts:  an
       XPG3  position specifier, a set of flags, a minimum field width, a pre‐
       cision, a length modifier, and a conversion character.	Any  of	 these
       fields  may be omitted except for the conversion character.  The fields
       that are present must appear in the order given above.  The  paragraphs
       below discuss each of these fields in turn.

       If  the % is followed by a decimal number and a $, as in ``%2$d'', then
       the value to convert is not taken from the  next	 sequential  argument.
       Instead, it is taken from the argument indicated by the number, where 1
       corresponds to the first arg.  If  the  conversion  specifier  requires
       multiple	 arguments  because of * characters in the specifier then suc‐
       cessive arguments are used, starting with the  argument	given  by  the
       number.	 This  follows the XPG3 conventions for positional specifiers.
       If there are any positional specifiers in formatString then all of  the
       specifiers must be positional.

       The  second  portion  of	 a conversion specifier may contain any of the
       following flag characters, in any order:

       -	 Specifies that the converted argument should  be  left-justi‐
		 fied  in its field (numbers are normally right-justified with
		 leading spaces if needed).

       +	 Specifies that a number should always be printed with a sign,
		 even if positive.

       space	 Specifies  that  a  space should be added to the beginning of
		 the number if the first character isn't a sign.

       0	 Specifies that the number should be padded on the  left  with
		 zeroes instead of spaces.

       #	 Requests an alternate output form. For o and O conversions it
		 guarantees that the first digit is always 0.  For x or X con‐
		 versions, 0x or 0X (respectively) will be added to the begin‐
		 ning of the result unless it is zero.	For all floating-point
		 conversions (e, E, f, g, and G) it guarantees that the result
		 always has a decimal point.  For g and G conversions it spec‐
		 ifies that trailing zeroes should not be removed.

       The  third portion of a conversion specifier is a number giving a mini‐
       mum field width for this conversion.  It is typically used to make col‐
       umns  line up in tabular printouts.  If the converted argument contains
       fewer characters than the minimum field width then it will be padded so
       that it is as wide as the minimum field width.  Padding normally occurs
       by adding extra spaces on the left of the converted argument, but the 0
       and  -  flags may be used to specify padding with zeroes on the left or
       with spaces on the right, respectively.	If the minimum field width  is
       specified as * rather than a number, then the next argument to the for‐
       mat command determines the minimum field width; it must	be  a  numeric
       string.

       The fourth portion of a conversion specifier is a precision, which con‐
       sists of a period followed by a number.	The number is used in  differ‐
       ent  ways  for  different  conversions.	For e, E, and f conversions it
       specifies the number of digits to appear to the right  of  the  decimal
       point.  For g and G conversions it specifies the total number of digits
       to appear, including those on both sides of the decimal point (however,
       trailing	 zeroes	 after	the decimal point will still be omitted unless
       the # flag has been specified).	For integer conversions, it  specifies
       a  minimum  number  of digits to print (leading zeroes will be added if
       necessary).  For s conversions it specifies the maximum number of char‐
       acters to be printed; if the string is longer than this then the trail‐
       ing characters will be dropped.	If the precision is specified  with  *
       rather  than  a	number	then  the  next argument to the format command
       determines the precision; it must be a numeric string.

       The fifth part of a conversion specifier is a  length  modifier,	 which
       must  be h or l.	 If it is h it specifies that the numeric value should
       be truncated to a 16-bit	 value	before	converting.   This  option  is
       rarely  useful.	 If it is l it specifies that the numeric value should │
       be (at least) a 64-bit value.  If neither h or l are  present,  numeric │
       values  are  interpreted	 as  being  values  of the width of the native │
       machine word, as described by tcl_platform(wordSize).

       The last thing in a conversion specifier	 is  an	 alphabetic  character
       that determines what kind of conversion to perform.  The following con‐
       version characters are currently supported:

       d	 Convert integer to signed decimal string.

       u	 Convert integer to unsigned decimal string.

       i	 Convert integer to signed decimal string;   the  integer  may
		 either be in decimal, in octal (with a leading 0) or in hexa‐
		 decimal (with a leading 0x).

       o	 Convert integer to unsigned octal string.

       x or X	 Convert integer to unsigned hexadecimal string, using	digits
		 ``0123456789abcdef'' for x and ``0123456789ABCDEF'' for X).   │

       c								       │
		 Convert integer to the Unicode character it represents.

       s	 No conversion; just insert string.

       f	 Convert floating-point number to signed decimal string of the
		 form xx.yyy, where the number of y's  is  determined  by  the
		 precision  (default: 6).  If the precision is 0 then no deci‐
		 mal point is output.

       e or e	 Convert floating-point number to scientific notation  in  the
		 form  x.yyye±zz, where the number of y's is determined by the
		 precision (default: 6).  If the precision is 0 then no	 deci‐
		 mal point is output.  If the E form is used then E is printed
		 instead of e.

       g or G	 If the exponent is less than -4 or greater than or  equal  to
		 the  precision,  then convert floating-point number as for %e
		 or %E.	 Otherwise convert as for %f.  Trailing zeroes	and  a
		 trailing decimal point are omitted.

       %	 No conversion: just insert %.

       For  the	 numerical conversions the argument being converted must be an
       integer or floating-point  string;  format  converts  the  argument  to
       binary  and  then converts it back to a string according to the conver‐
       sion specifier.

DIFFERENCES FROM ANSI SPRINTF
       The behavior of the format command is the same as the  ANSI  C  sprintf
       procedure except for the following differences:

       [1]    %p and %n specifiers are not currently supported.

       [2]    For  %c conversions the argument must be a decimal string, which
	      will then be converted to the corresponding character value.

       [3]    The l modifier is ignored for real values and  on	 64-bit	 plat‐ │
	      forms,  which  are  always  converted  as if the l modifier were │
	      present (i.e. the types double and long are used for the	inter‐ │
	      nal  representation  of  real and integer values, respectively).
	      If the h modifier is specified then integer values are truncated
	      to  short before conversion.  Both h and l modifiers are ignored
	      on all other conversions.

SEE ALSO
       sprintf(3), string(n)

KEYWORDS
       conversion specifier, format, sprintf, string, substitution

Tcl				      8.1			     format(n)
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