An object for formatting numbers in a scientific format.


ScientificFormat is an IScientificNumberFormatinterface coclass who's members determine how the ValueToString**method in the associated INumberFormat**interface formats numbers.

Use theScientificFormat when you want to express numbers in a scientific format, for example to create a table of empirical values. ScientificFormat expresses numbers as a power of 10. For example, the value 1500 scientifically formatted to 3 significant digits is the expression 1.50e+003, where the number before 'e' is the mantissa, and the number after 'e' is the power of 10, or exponent. The meaning of this expression is 1.50 X 10^3. The number of digits in exponent (+003) cannot be changed and is always a plus or minus sign and 3 digits.

The DecimalPlaces property sets or returns a long representing the number of decimals to show in the mantissa. Since all digits in a scientific format expression are significant, set the DecimalPlaces property to the number of desired significant digits minus 1. For example, to express the value 1 to 3 significant digits (1.00e+000), set DecimalPlaces to 2. The default value is 6.

Supported Platforms

Windows, Solaris, Linux


Interfaces Description
IClone Provides access to members that control cloning of objects.
INumberFormat Provides access to members that format numbers.
INumberFormatOperations Provides access to common operations on formatted numbers.
IScientificNumberFormat Provides access to members that format scientific numbers.


The power behind the scientific format is a way of expressing significant zeros. For example, a 1000 yard distance measured with a bicycle odometer may only be accurate to the nearest 10th mile (176 yards). In this case, 1000 is only significant to one place and should be expressed as 1 X 10^3. On the other hand, you may know the measurement is precise to the last zero (perhaps you carefully measured this distance with a yardstick); you would then want to express the measurement as 1.000 X 10^3.

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