Remember C and sprintf? It was a long time ago:) That was very useful function, so here is Java version (enhanced a bit). It is easy to use and fast. Formatting is specified in a string, as in C. And yes, Java from version 5 has its own implementation, but Jodd version may be still interesting.

Printf formats a number in a printf format, like C. The format string has a prefix, a format code and a suffix. The prefix and suffix become part of the formatted output. The format code directs the formatting of the (single) parameter to be formatted. The code has the following structure:

  • a % (required)
  • a modifier (optional)
    • + forces display of + for positive numbers
    • ~ do not count leading + or - in length
    • 0 show leading zeroes
    • - align left in the field
    • space prepends a space in front of positive numbers
    • # use "alternate" format. Add 0 or 0x for octal or hexadecimal numbers. Don't suppress trailing zeros in general floating point format.
    • , groups decimal values by thousands (for 'diuxXb' formats)
  • an integer denoting field width (optional)
  • a period (.) followed by an integer denoting precision (optional)
  • a format descriptor (required)
    • f floating point number in fixed format,
    • e, E floating point number in exponential notation (scientific format). The E format results in an uppercase E for the exponent (1.14130E+003), the e format in a lowercase e,
    • g, G floating point number in general format (fixed format for small numbers, exponential format for large numbers). Trailing zeroes are suppressed. The G format results in an uppercase E for the exponent (if any), the g format in a lowercase e,.
    • d, i signed long and integer in decimal,
    • u unsigned long or integer in decimal,
    • x unsigned long or integer in hexadecimal,
    • o unsigned long or integer in octal,
    • b unsigned long or integer in binary,
    • s string (actually, toString() value of an object),
    • c character,
    • l, L boolean in lower or upper case (for booleans and int/longs),
    • p identity hash code of an object (pointer ;).


    Printf.str("%+i", 173);     // +173
    Printf.str("%04d", 1);      // 0001
    Printf.str("%f", 1.7);      // 1.700000
    Printf.str("%1.1f", 1.7);   // 1.7
    Printf.str("%.4e", 100.1e10);   // 1.0010e+012
    Printf.str("%G", 1.1e13);   // 1.1E+013
    Printf.str("%l", true);     // true
    Printf.str("%L", 123);      // TRUE
    Printf.str("%b", 13);       // 1101
    Printf.str("%,b", -13);     // 11111111 11111111 11111111 11110011
    Printf.str("%#X", 173);     // 0XAD
    Printf.str("%,x", -1);      // ffff ffff
    Printf.str("%s %s", new String[]{"one", "two"});    // one two

Note that float-point values are not precise, so the printed value may differ from argument.