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About Strings

Formulas can contain strings. To format string output, such as in a prompt cell, a shape data item value, or a text field, you specify a format picture. Output can be formatted as a number-unit pair, string, date-time, duration, or currency. For example, the format picture "0 #/10 uu" formats the number-unit pair 10.9cm as "10 9/10 centimeters".

You can use format pictures in the Format cell of the Shape Data section and as an argument to the FORMAT or FORMATEX function. When you insert a text field, format pictures appear in the list of formats in the Field dialog box (Insert tab).

Using functions to format strings

In any formula that resolves to a string, including custom text field formulas, you can use the FORMAT or FORMATEX function. The FORMAT function returns a string of the formatted output. The FORMATEX function converts untyped input to the units you choose for the formatted result.

Displaying formatted shape data

You can format the displayed value of a shape data item by entering a format picture in the Format cell.

For example, a project timeline shape can have a shape data item that measures the cost of a process. By default, a shape data item value is a string. To format the string "1200", you can enter "$###,###.00" in the Format cell so that the user sees a currency.

Microsoft Visio uses the settings on the Currency tab in the Customize Format dialog box in the Region and Language item in Control Panel to determine the currency symbol and thousands separator to display. (In Control Panel, click Region and Language, and then click Additional Settings.)

To convert a string to a currency value so that you can perform calculations with the value, use the CY function.

Using functions to manipulate text strings

You can use functions to manipulate text strings, for example, to locate or replace certain characters in a text string. You can also get information about the position of a character in a string, or identify beginning and ending characters in a text string.