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11.3 Field Width

By default, the output value is left aligned and shown with the minimum width necessary for the specified (or default) precision. If a field width greater than this is specified, the value shown is right aligned, and padded on the left with enough spaces to provide the specified field width. A width specification is typically used with fixed-point decimal to have columns of numbers align at the decimal point; this arguably is less useful with units than with long columnar output, but it may nonetheless assist in quickly assessing the relative magnitudes of results. For example, with the format ‘%12.6f’,

     You have: km
     You want: in
             * 39370.078740
             /     0.000025
     You have: km
     You want: rod
             *   198.838782
             /     0.005029
     You have: km
     You want: furlong
             *     4.970970
             /     0.201168