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### Re^3: Format, empty vars, and fixed-width records

by BrowserUk (Patriarch)
 on Apr 22, 2008 at 00:14 UTC ( #682057=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

As I showed with the decimal field at the beginning of the records above, you can truncate integer fields by using %N.Ns. Unfortunately, the truncation always occurs on the right regardless of whether you use '-' or not:

```[0] Perl> printf "%2.2s\n", \$_ for 9, 99 .. 101;;
9
99
10
10
[0] Perl> printf "%-2.2s\n", \$_ for 9, 99 .. 101;;
9
99
10
10

Which may not be what you want. The real problem (sic) is floating point numbers, there's just no sensible way to squeeze them into a fixed width field if they stray beyond a limited range:

```printf "%-8.8s\n", sprintf '%8f', \$_
for map{ 1.23456789 * \$_} map{ "1e\$_" } -10 .. 10;;
0.000000
0.000000
0.000000
0.000000
0.000001
0.000012
0.000123
0.001235
0.012346
0.123457
1.234568
12.34567
123.4567
1234.567
12345.67
123456.7
1234567.
12345678
12345678
12345678
12345678

And its worse if you want or need to maintain point alignment.

Examine what is said, not who speaks -- Silence betokens consent -- Love the truth but pardon error.
"Science is about questioning the status quo. Questioning authority".
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Re^4: Format, empty vars, and fixed-width records
by ikegami (Patriarch) on Apr 22, 2008 at 02:56 UTC

You could handle number overflow like Excel does:

```sub format_num {
my \$s = sprintf('%5.2f', \$_[0]);
return length(\$s) > 5 ? 'XXXXX' : \$s;
}

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