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Pref::floatFormat

Representation of floating-point numbers

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Syntax

Pref::floatFormat(mode)
Pref::floatFormat(NIL)
Pref::floatFormat()

Description

Pref::floatFormat controls the output format of floating-point numbers.

The representation mode can be one of the characters "e", "f", "g", "h", or "x". These are the standard C-command printf switches. Their meaning is:

  • "e":

    exponential representation (floating-point representation, “scientific format”).

  • "f":

    decimal representation without exponents.

  • "g":

    a mix between "e" and "f". Numbers x satisfying are displayed without exponents. All other numbers are displayed in floating-point representation.

  • "h" or "x":

    hexadecimal representation, except for expr2text and typesetting, which fall back to "g".

The default value is "g".

Pref::floatFormat() returns the current mode without changing it. The call Pref::floatFormat(NIL) resets to the default value "g".

Examples

Example 1

The exponential representation of a floating-point number consists of its sign, its mantissa and its exponent:

Pref::floatFormat("e"):
12345.67890, -0.00012345

Without exponents, the size of a number is indicated by trailing or leading zeroes:

Pref::floatFormat("f"):
7.0*10^21, 7.0/10^21

The mixed representation:

Pref::floatFormat("g"):
1e-10, 9.99e-11

2.0^36, 2.0^37

Hexadecimal display is ignored in typeset output and expr2text:

Pref::floatFormat("h"): 
12345.67890, 0.00012345;
expr2text(12345.67890, 0.00012345)

Hexadecimal display is used in the ASCII print output:

PRETTYPRINT := FALSE:
print(Plain, 12345.67890, 0.00012345);
PRETTYPRINT := TRUE:
3.039adcc63f141208@3, 8.1725b672ee34260@-4

The representation is reset to the default mode:

Pref::floatFormat(NIL):

Parameters

mode

One of the character strings "e", "f", "g", "h", or "x"

Return Values

Previously defined representation mode

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