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Format Function (Visual Basic for Applications)

office 365 dev account|Last Updated: 6/12/2017
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Description Returns a Variant (String) containing an expression formatted according to instructions contained in a format expression. SyntaxFormat(expression [ ,format [ ,firstdayofweek [ ,firstweekofyear ]]] ) The Format function syntax has these parts:

PartDescription
expressionRequired. Any valid expression.
formatOptional. A valid named or user-defined format expression.
firstdayofweekOptional. A constant that specifies the first day of the week.
firstweekofyearOptional. A constant that specifies the first week of the year.

Settings The firstdayofweekargument has these settings:

ConstantValueDescription
vbUseSystem0Use NLS API setting.
vbSunday1Sunday (default)
vbMonday2Monday
vbTuesday3Tuesday
vbWednesday4Wednesday
vbThursday5Thursday
vbFriday6Friday
vbSaturday7Saturday

The firstweekofyear argument has these settings:

ConstantValueDescription
vbUseSystem0Use NLS API setting.
vbFirstJan11Start with week in which January 1 occurs (default).
vbFirstFourDays2Start with the first week that has at least four days in the year.
vbFirstFullWeek3Start with the first full week of the year.

Remarks

To FormatDo This
NumbersUse predefined named numeric formats or create user-defined numeric formats.
Dates and timesUse predefined named date/time formats or create user-defined date/time formats.
Date and time serial numbersUse date and time formats or numeric formats.
StringsCreate your own user-defined string formats.

If you try to format a number without specifying format, Format provides functionality similar to the Str function, although it is internationally aware. However, positive numbers formatted as strings using Format don't include a leading space reserved for the sign of the value; those converted using Str retain the leading space. If you are formatting a non-localized numeric string, you should use a user-defined numeric format to ensure that you get the look you want.

Note If the Calendar property setting is Gregorian and format specifies date formatting, the supplied expression must be Gregorian. If the Visual Basic Calendar property setting is Hijri, the supplied expression must be Hijri.

If the calendar is Gregorian, the meaning of format expression symbols is unchanged. If the calendar is Hijri, all date format symbols (for example, dddd, mmmm, yyyy ) have the same meaning but apply to the Hijri calendar. Format symbols remain in English; symbols that result in text display (for example, AM and PM) display the string (English or Arabic) associated with that symbol. The range of certain symbols changes when the calendar is Hijri.

Date Symbols

SymbolRange
d1-31 (Day of month, with no leading zero).
dd01-31 (Day of month, with a leading zero).
w1-7 (Day of week, starting with Sunday = 1)
ww1-53 (Week of year, with no leading zero; Week 1 starts on Jan 1).
mmmDisplays abbreviated month names (Hijri month names have no abbreviations).
mmmmDisplays full month names.
y1-366 (Day of year)
yy00-99 (Last two digits of year)
yyyy100-9666 (Three- or Four-digit year)

Time Symbols

SymbolRange
h0-23 (1-12 with "Am" or "Pm" appended) (Hour of day, with no leading zero)
hh0-23 (01-12 with "Am" or "Pm" appended) (Hour of day, with no leading zero)
n0-59 (Minute of hour, with no leading zero)
nn0-59 (Minute of hour, with a leading zero)
s0-59 (Second of minute, with no leading zero)
ss0-59 (Second of minute, with a leading zero)

Example

This example shows various uses of the Format function to format values using both named formats and user-defined formats. For the date separator ( / ), time separator ( : ), and AM/ PM literal, the actual formatted output displayed by your system depends on the locale settings on which the code is running. When times and dates are displayed in the development environment, the short time format and short date format of the code locale are used. When displayed by running code, the short time format and short date format of the system locale are used, which may differ from the code locale. For this example, English/U.S. is assumed. MyTime and MyDate are displayed in the development environment using current system short time setting and short date setting.

Dim MyTime, MyDate, MyStr
MyTime = #17:04:23#
MyDate = #January 27, 1993#

' Returns current system time in the system-defined long time format.
MyStr = Format(Time, "Long Time")

' Returns current system date in the system-defined long date format.
MyStr = Format(Date, "Long Date")

MyStr = Format(MyTime, "h:m:s")    ' Returns "17:4:23".
MyStr = Format(MyTime, "hh:mm:ss AMPM")    ' Returns "05:04:23 PM".
MyStr = Format(MyDate, "dddd, mmm d yyyy")    ' Returns "Wednesday,
    ' Jan 27 1993".
' If format is not supplied, a string is returned.
MyStr = Format(23)    ' Returns "23".

' User-defined formats.
MyStr = Format(5459.4, "##,##0.00")    ' Returns "5,459.40".
MyStr = Format(334.9, "###0.00")    ' Returns "334.90".
MyStr = Format(5, "0.00%")    ' Returns "500.00%".
MyStr = Format("HELLO", "<")    ' Returns "hello".
MyStr = Format("This is it", ">")    ' Returns "THIS IS IT".

Different Formats for Different Numeric Values (Format Function) A user-defined format expression for numbers can have from one to four sections separated by semicolons. If the formatargument contains one of the named numeric formats, only one section is allowed.

If you useThe result is
One section onlyThe format expression applies to all values.
Two sectionsThe first section applies to positive values and zeros, the second to negative values.
Three sectionsThe first section applies to positive values, the second to negative values, and the third to zeros.
Four sectionsThe first section applies to positive values, the second to negative values, the third to zeros, and the fourth to Null values.

The following example has two sections: the first defines the format for positive values and zeros; the second section defines the format for negative values.

"$#,##0;($#,##0)"

If you include semicolons with nothing between them, the missing section is printed using the format of the positive value. For example, the following format displays positive and negative values using the format in the first section and displays "Zero" if the value is zero.

"$#,##0;;\Z\e\r\o"

Different Formats for Different String Values (Format Function) A format expression for strings can have one section or two sections separated by a semicolon ( ; ).

If you useThe result is
One section onlyThe format applies to all string data.
Two sectionsThe first section applies to string data, the second to Null values and zero-length strings ("").

Named Date/Time Formats (Format Function) The following table identifies the predefined date and time format names:

Format NameDescription
General DateDisplay a date and/or time. For real numbers, display a date and time, for example, 4/3/93 05:34 PM.If there is no fractional part, display only a date, for example, 4/3/93. If there is no integer part, display time only, for example, 05:34 PM. Date display is determined by your system settings.
Long DateDisplay a date according to your system's long date format.
Medium DateDisplay a date using the medium date format appropriate for the language version of the host application.
Short DateDisplay a date using your system's short date format.
Long TimeDisplay a time using your system's long time format; includes hours, minutes, seconds.
Medium TimeDisplay time in 12-hour format using hours and minutes and the AM/PM designator.
Short TimeDisplay a time using the 24-hour format, for example, 17:45.

Named Numeric Formats (Format Function) The following table identifies the predefined numeric format names:

Format nameDescription
General NumberDisplay number with no thousand separator.
CurrencyDisplay number with thousand separator, if appropriate; display two digits to the right of the decimal separator. Output is based on system locale settings.
FixedDisplay at least one digit to the left and two digits to the right of the decimal separator.
StandardDisplay number with thousand separator, at least one digit to the left and two digits to the right of the decimal separator.
PercentDisplay number multiplied by 100 with a percent sign ( % ) appended to the right; always display two digits to the right of the decimal separator.
ScientificUse standard scientific notation.
Yes/NoDisplay No if number is 0; otherwise, display Yes.
True/FalseDisplay False if number is 0; otherwise, display True.
On/OffDisplay Off if number is 0; otherwise, display On.

User-Defined String Formats (Format Function) You can use any of the following characters to create a format expression for strings:

CharacterDescription
@Character placeholder. Display a character or a space. If the string has a character in the position where the at symbol ( @ ) appears in the format string, display it; otherwise, display a space in that position. Placeholders are filled from right to left unless there is an exclamation point character ( ! ) in the format string.
&;Character placeholder. Display a character or nothing. If the string has a character in the position where the ampersand ( &; ) appears, display it; otherwise, display nothing. Placeholders are filled from right to left unless there is an exclamation point character ( ! ) in the format string.
<Force lowercase. Display all characters in lowercase format.
>Force uppercase. Display all characters in uppercase format.
!Force left to right fill of placeholders. The default is to fill placeholders from right to left.

User-Defined Date/Time Formats (Format Function) The following table identifies characters you can use to create user-defined date/time formats:

CharacterDescription
( : )Time separator. In some locales, other characters may be used to represent the time separator. The time separator separates hours, minutes, and seconds when time values are formatted. The actual character used as the time separator in formatted output is determined by your system settings.
( / )Date separator. In some locales, other characters may be used to represent the date separator. The date separator separates the day, month, and year when date values are formatted. The actual character used as the date separator in formatted output is determined by your system settings.
cDisplay the date as ddddd and display the time as ttttt, in that order. Display only date information if there is no fractional part to the date serial number; display only time information if there is no integer portion.
dDisplay the day as a number without a leading zero (1 - 31).
ddDisplay the day as a number with a leading zero (01 - 31).
dddDisplay the day as an abbreviation (Sun - Sat).
ddddDisplay the day as a full name (Sunday - Saturday).
dddddDisplay the date as a complete date (including day, month, and year), formatted according to your system's short date format setting. The default short date format is m/d/yy.
ddddddDisplay a date serial number as a complete date (including day, month, and year) formatted according to the long date setting recognized by your system. The default long date format is mmmm dd, yyyy.
aaaaThe same as dddd, only it's the localized version of the string.
wDisplay the day of the week as a number (1 for Sunday through 7 for Saturday).
wwDisplay the week of the year as a number (1 - 54).
mDisplay the month as a number without a leading zero (1 - 12). If m immediately follows h or hh, the minute rather than the month is displayed.
mmDisplay the month as a number with a leading zero (01 - 12). If m immediately follows h or hh, the minute rather than the month is displayed.
mmmDisplay the month as an abbreviation (Jan - Dec).
mmmmDisplay the month as a full month name (January - December).
ooooThe same as mmmm, only it's the localized version of the string.
qDisplay the quarter of the year as a number (1 - 4).
yDisplay the day of the year as a number (1 - 366).
yyDisplay the year as a 2-digit number (00 - 99).
yyyyDisplay the year as a 4-digit number (100 - 9999).
hDisplay the hour as a number without leading zeros (0 - 23).
HhDisplay the hour as a number with leading zeros (00 - 23).
NDisplay the minute as a number without leading zeros (0 - 59).
NnDisplay the minute as a number with leading zeros (00 - 59).
SDisplay the second as a number without leading zeros (0 - 59).
SsDisplay the second as a number with leading zeros (00 - 59).
t t t t tDisplay a time as a complete time (including hour, minute, and second), formatted using the time separator defined by the time format recognized by your system. A leading zero is displayed if the leading zero option is selected and the time is before 10:00 A.M. or P.M. The default time format is h:mm:ss.
AM/PMUse the 12-hour clock and display an uppercase AM with any hour before noon; display an uppercase PM with any hour between noon and 11:59 P.M.
am/pmUse the 12-hour clock and display a lowercase AM with any hour before noon; display a lowercase PM with any hour between noon and 11:59 P.M.
A/PUse the 12-hour clock and display an uppercase A with any hour before noon; display an uppercase P with any hour between noon and 11:59 P.M.
a/pUse the 12-hour clock and display a lowercase A with any hour before noon; display a lowercase P with any hour between noon and 11:59 P.M.
AMPMUse the 12-hour clock and display the AM string literal as defined by your system with any hour before noon; display the PM string literal as defined by your system with any hour between noon and 11:59 P.M. AMPM can be either uppercase or lowercase, but the case of the string displayed matches the string as defined by your system settings. The default format is AM/PM.

User-Defined Numeric Formats (Format Function) The following table identifies characters you can use to create user-defined number formats:

CharacterDescription
NoneDisplay the number with no formatting.
( 0 )Digit placeholder. Display a digit or a zero. If the expression has a digit in the position where the 0 appears in the format string, display it; otherwise, display a zero in that position.If the number has fewer digits than there are zeros (on either side of the decimal) in the format expression, display leading or trailing zeros. If the number has more digits to the right of the decimal separator than there are zeros to the right of the decimal separator in the format expression, round the number to as many decimal places as there are zeros. If the number has more digits to the left of the decimal separator than there are zeros to the left of the decimal separator in the format expression, display the extra digits without modification.
( # )Digit placeholder. Display a digit or nothing. If the expression has a digit in the position where the # appears in the format string, display it; otherwise, display nothing in that position. This symbol works like the 0 digit placeholder, except that leading and trailing zeros aren't displayed if the number has the same or fewer digits than there are # characters on either side of the decimal separator in the format expression.
( . )Decimal placeholder. In some locales, a comma is used as the decimal separator. The decimal placeholder determines how many digits are displayed to the left and right of the decimal separator. If the format expression contains only number signs to the left of this symbol, numbers smaller than 1 begin with a decimal separator. To display a leading zero displayed with fractional numbers, use 0 as the first digit placeholder to the left of the decimal separator. The actual character used as a decimal placeholder in the formatted output depends on the Number Format recognized by your system.
( %)Percentage placeholder. The expression is multiplied by 100. The percent character ( % ) is inserted in the position where it appears in the format string.
( , )Thousand separator. In some locales, a period is used as a thousand separator. The thousand separator separates thousands from hundreds within a number that has four or more places to the left of the decimal separator. Standard use of the thousand separator is specified if the format contains a thousand separator surrounded by digit placeholders ( 0 or # ). Two adjacent thousand separators or a thousand separator immediately to the left of the decimal separator (whether or not a decimal is specified) means "scale the number by dividing it by 1000, rounding as needed." For example, you can use the format string "##0,," to represent 100 million as 100. Numbers smaller than 1 million are displayed as 0. Two adjacent thousand separators in any position other than immediately to the left of the decimal separator are treated simply as specifying the use of a thousand separator. The actual character used as the thousand separator in the formatted output depends on the Number Format recognized by your system.
( : )Time separator. In some locales, other characters may be used to represent the time separator. The time separator separates hours, minutes, and seconds when time values are formatted. The actual character used as the time separator in formatted output is determined by your system settings.
( / )Date separator. In some locales, other characters may be used to represent the date separator. The date separator separates the day, month, and year when date values are formatted. The actual character used as the date separator in formatted output is determined by your system settings.
( E- E+ e- e+ )Scientific format. If the format expression contains at least one digit placeholder ( 0 or # ) to the right of E-, E+, e-, or e+, the number is displayed in scientific format and E or e is inserted between the number and its exponent. The number of digit placeholders to the right determines the number of digits in the exponent. Use E- or e- to place a minus sign next to negative exponents. Use E+ or e+ to place a minus sign next to negative exponents and a plus sign next to positive exponents.
- + $ ( )Display a literal character. To display a character other than one of those listed, precede it with a backslash () or enclose it in double quotation marks (" ").
( \ )Display the next character in the format string. To display a character that has special meaning as a literal character, precede it with a backslash (). The backslash itself isn't displayed. Using a backslash is the same as enclosing the next character in double quotation marks. To display a backslash, use two backslashes (\). Examples of characters that can't be displayed as literal characters are the date-formatting and time-formatting characters (a, c, d, h, m, n, p, q, s, t, w, y, / and :), the numeric-formatting characters (#, 0, %, E, e, comma, and period), and the string-formatting characters (@, &;, <, >, and !).
("ABC")Display the string inside the double quotation marks (" "). To include a string in format from within code, you must use Chr( 34 ) to enclose the text (34 is thecharacter code for a quotation mark (")).
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