Documentation

## Display Format for Numeric Values

### Default Display

By default, MATLAB® displays numeric output as 5-digit scaled, fixed-point values. You can change the way numeric values are displayed to any of the following:

• 5-digit scaled fixed point, floating point, or the best of the two

• 15-digit scaled fixed point, floating point, or the best of the two

• A ratio of small integers

• Hexadecimal (base 16)

• Bank notation

All available formats are listed on the `format` reference page.

To change the numeric display setting, use either the `format` function or the Preferences dialog box (accessible from the MATLAB File menu). The `format` function changes the display of numeric values for the duration of a single MATLAB session, while your Preferences settings remain active from one session to the next. These settings affect only how numbers are displayed, not how MATLAB computes or saves them.

### Display Format Examples

Here are a few examples of the various formats and the output produced from the following two-element vector `x`, with components of different magnitudes.

Check the current format setting:

```get(0, 'format') ans = short ```

Set the value for `x` and display in 5-digit scaled fixed point:

```x = [4/3 1.2345e-6] x = 1.3333 0.0000 ```

Set the format to 5-digit floating point:

```format short e x x = 1.3333e+00 1.2345e-06```

Set the format to 15-digit scaled fixed point:

```format long x x = 1.333333333333333 0.000001234500000 ```

Set the format to `'rational'` for small integer ratio output:

```format rational x x = 4/3 1/810045 ```

Set an integer value for `x` and display it in hexadecimal (base 16) format:

```format hex x = uint32(876543210) x = 343efcea ```

### Setting Numeric Format in a Program

To temporarily change the numeric format inside a program, get the original format using the `get` function and save it in a variable. When you finish working with the new format, you can restore the original format setting using the `set` function as shown here:

```origFormat = get(0, 'format'); format('rational'); -- Work in rational format -- set(0,'format', origFormat); ```

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