Next: Complex Formats, Previous: Grouping Digits, Up: Display Modes [Contents][Index]

Floating-point quantities are normally displayed in standard decimal form, with scientific notation used if the exponent is especially high or low. All significant digits are normally displayed. The commands in this section allow you to choose among several alternative display formats for floats.

The `d n` (`calc-normal-notation`

) command selects the normal
display format. All significant figures in a number are displayed.
With a positive numeric prefix, numbers are rounded if necessary to
that number of significant digits. With a negative numerix prefix,
the specified number of significant digits less than the current
precision is used. (Thus `C-u -2 d n` displays 10 digits if the
current precision is 12.)

The `d f` (`calc-fix-notation`

) command selects fixed-point
notation. The numeric argument is the number of digits after the
decimal point, zero or more. This format will relax into scientific
notation if a nonzero number would otherwise have been rounded all the
way to zero. Specifying a negative number of digits is the same as
for a positive number, except that small nonzero numbers will be rounded
to zero rather than switching to scientific notation.

The `d s` (`calc-sci-notation`

) command selects scientific
notation. A positive argument sets the number of significant figures
displayed, of which one will be before and the rest after the decimal
point. A negative argument works the same as for `d n` format.
The default is to display all significant digits.

The `d e` (`calc-eng-notation`

) command selects engineering
notation. This is similar to scientific notation except that the
exponent is rounded down to a multiple of three, with from one to three
digits before the decimal point. An optional numeric prefix sets the
number of significant digits to display, as for `d s`.

It is important to distinguish between the current *precision* and
the current *display format*. After the commands `C-u 10 p`
and `C-u 6 d n` the Calculator computes all results to ten
significant figures but displays only six. (In fact, intermediate
calculations are often carried to one or two more significant figures,
but values placed on the stack will be rounded down to ten figures.)
Numbers are never actually rounded to the display precision for storage,
except by commands like `C-k` and `C-x * y` which operate on the
actual displayed text in the Calculator buffer.

The `d .` (`calc-point-char`

) command selects the character used
as a decimal point. Normally this is a period; users in some countries
may wish to change this to a comma. Note that this is only a display
style; on entry, periods must always be used to denote floating-point
numbers, and commas to separate elements in a list.

Next: Complex Formats, Previous: Grouping Digits, Up: Display Modes [Contents][Index]