– Common Function Library Project

scientificFormat(n[, sigdigits])

Last updated July 12, 2006


Tedd Van Diest

Version: 1 | Requires: CF6 | Library: MathLib

This UDF utilizes the java.text.DecimalFormat and java.text.BigDecimal Java classes to format a large number into scientific notation. There are two arguments that you can pass. (n) A large number which is required and the second arguments is significant digits and is not required. The default significant digits are 2.

Return Values:
Returns a number.


    frequency = 99.5; // Frequency MHz
    c = 299792458; // Speed of light in meters per second
    v = frequency*(10^6); // Convert MHz to Hz
    w = c/v; // Wavelength in meters

Sample: Wavelength of #frequency# FM's radio frequency (#frequency# MHz).

Speed of light (m/sec): #c#
ScientificFormat(#c#) = #ScientificFormat(c)# (m/sec).

Frequency: 99.5 MHz (#v# Hz).
ScientificFormat(#v#,2) = #ScientificFormat(v,2)# (Hz).

Wavelength of frequency in meters: #w#
ScientificFormat(#w#,2) = #ScientificFormat(w,2)# (meters).


Name Description Required
n The number to format. Yes
sigdigits Number of significant digits. Defaults to 2. No

Full UDF Source:

 * This function formats a big decimal to scientific notation.
 * @param n      The number to format. (Required)
 * @param sigdigits      Number of significant digits. Defaults to 2. (Optional)
 * @return Returns a number. 
 * @author Tedd Van Diest ( 
 * @version 1, July 12, 2006 
function scientificFormat(n,m) {
    // init result var
    var result = "";
    // Create DecimalFormat object and initialize it with our mask.
    var df = createObject("java","java.text.DecimalFormat").init(m);
    // Create BigDecimal object and initialize it with our number.
    var bd = createObject("java","java.math.BigDecimal").init(n);
    // Format our number using our mask.
    result = df.format(bd);
    // Return results.
    return result;


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