Number formatting/padding before and after the decimal

By | 6 October, 2008

Before i came up with this solution, i had some trouble formatting and padding decimal numbers, specifically when i want to do it before and after the decimal mark. To top it all, i wanted the result signed (with a plus sign(+) or minus sign(-) depending on the value of the variable)


I want this “-4.3” into this “-04.3”

Or this “6” into this “+06.0”

PHP has a lot of number formatting options, from number_format, to sprontf and printf. Well, just search the php docs and you will see what i mean.

The thing is that, as always, i wanted to do it in as less code as possible so, to do what i mentioned above, and after a bit of testing, i came up with this:

$value = -14.6;
printf('%1$s%2$02d.%3$01s', ($value <0 ) ? '-' : '+',floor(abs($value)),(abs($value)-floor(abs($value)))*10);

Although pretty simple, i think its still a bit contrived and dirty. But it works.

A bit of background:

the first part of the printf means:

%1 will contain the first parameter (the value after the first comma), with $s as the format (in sprintf, ‘s’ means string, so it will just output the result of the first parameter, no formatting)

%2 has $02d as format so it will show a pad of two digits of an integer treated number showed as decimal

%3 has $01s as format – like i mentioned for %1, shows a string with a pad of one digit

Since i want to keep these posts simple, to serve as reference and jump to other reference sites, i will just leave some links:

PHP docs for sprintf (it has all the formatting…formats):

W3C for PHP math:

Just ask if you need any more feedback or help.