Lesson 12:  Formatting Functions

 

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Formatting output is a very important part of programming so that the data can be presented systematically and clearly to the users. Data in the previous lesson were presented fairly systematically through the use of commas and some of the functions like Int, Fix and Round. However, to have better control of the output format, we can use a number of formatting functions in Visual basic.

The three most common formatting functions in VB are Tab, Space, and Format

(i) The Tab function

Tab (n); x

The item x will be displayed at a position that is n spaces from the left border of the output form. There must be a semicolon in between Tab and the items you intend to display (VB will actually do it for you automatically).

 Example 12.1

.Private Sub Form_Activate

         Print "I"; Tab(5); "like"; Tab(10); "to"; Tab(15); "learn"; Tab(20); "VB"

         Print

         Print Tab(10); "I"; Tab(15); "like"; Tab(20); "to"; Tab(25); "learn"; Tab(20); "VB"

         Print

         Print Tab(15); "I"; Tab(20); ; "like"; Tab(25); "to"; Tab(30); "learn"; Tab(35); “VB"

End sub

The Output for example 1 is shown below:

 

(ii) The Space function

The Space function is very closely linked to the Tab function. However, there is a minor difference. While Tab (n) means the item is placed n spaces from the left border of the screen, the Space function specifies the number of spaces between two consecutive items. For example, the procedure

 Example 12.2

Private Sub Form_Activate()

Print "Visual"; Space(10); "Basic"

End Sub

Means that the words Visual and Basic will be separated by 10 spaces

(iii) The Format function

The Format function is a very powerful formatting function which can display the numeric values in various forms. There are two types of Format function, one of them is the built-in or predefined format while another one can be defined by the users.

(a) The syntax of the predefined Format function is

Format (n, “style argument”)

where n is a number and the list of style arguments is shown in Table 12.1

 

Style argument

Explanation

Example

General Number

To display the number without having separators between thousands.

 

Format(8972.234, “General Number”)=8972.234

Fixed

To display the number without having separators between thousands and rounds it up to two decimal places.

 

Format(8972.2, “Fixed”)=8972.23

Standard

To display the number with separators or separators between thousands and rounds it up to two decimal places.

 

Format(6648972.265, “Standard”)= 6,648,972.27

Currency

To display the number with the dollar sign in front, has separators between thousands as well as rounding it up to two decimal places.

 

Format(6648972.265, “Currency”)= $6,648,972.27

Percent

Converts the number to the percentage form and displays a % sign and rounds it up to two decimal places.

 

Format(0.56324, “Percent”)=56.32 %

Table 12.1

 

Example 12.3

Private Sub Form_Activate()

Print Format (8972.234, "General Number")

Print Format (8972.2, "Fixed")

Print Format (6648972.265, "Standard")

Print Format (6648972.265, "Currency")

Print Format (0.56324, "Percent")

End Sub

Now, run the program and you will get an output like the figure below:

 

(b)

The syntax of the user-defined Format function is

Format (n, “user’s format”)

Although it is known as user-defined format, we still need to follows certain formatting styles. Examples of user-defined formatting style are listed in Table 12.2

Example

Explanation

Output

Format(781234.57,”0”)

Rounds to whole number without separators between thousands.

781235

Format(781234.57,”0.0”)

Rounds to 1 decimal place without separators between thousands.

781234.6

Format(781234.576,”0.00”)

Rounds to 2 decimal places without separators between thousands.

781234.58

Format(781234.576,”#,##0.00”)

Rounds to 2 decimal places with separators between thousands.

781,234.58

Format(781234.576,”$#,##0.00”)

Shows dollar sign and rounds to 2 decimal places with separators between thousands.

$781,234.58

Format(0.576,”0%”)

Converts to percentage form without decimal places.

58%

Format(0.5768,”0.00%”)

Converts to percentage form with 2 decimal places.

57.68%

Table 12.2

Example 12.4

Private Sub Form_Activate()
Print Format(781234.57, "0")
Print Format(781234.57, "0.0")
Print Format(781234.576, "0.00")
Print Format(781234.576, "#,##0.00")
Print Format(781234.576, "$#,##0.00")
Print Format(0.576, "0%")
Print Format(0.5768, "0.00%")
End Sub

The output is shown in the following figure:

 

 

 

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