# formatC Function in R (3 Examples)

In this article, Iâ€™ll demonstrate how to **format number using the formatC function** in R.

The article will consist of three examples for the application of the formatC function. More precisely, the content is structured as follows:

Letâ€™s get started.

## Constructing Example Data

The data below is used as basement for this R programming tutorial.

set.seed(3459643) # Create example data x <- rnorm(5) x # Print example data # [1] -2.08465048 0.42994609 1.36221077 -0.07050613 1.64029672 |

set.seed(3459643) # Create example data x <- rnorm(5) x # Print example data # [1] -2.08465048 0.42994609 1.36221077 -0.07050613 1.64029672

The previous RStudio console output shows the structure of our example data â€“ We have created a random numeric vector.

## Example 1: Basic Application of formatC() Function

In this example, Iâ€™ll demonstrate how to apply the formatC function to a data object containing numbers.

If we want to use the default specifications of the formatC function, we can apply the function as shown below:

formatC(x) # Apply formatC function # [1] "-2.085" "0.4299" "1.362" "-0.07051" "1.64" |

formatC(x) # Apply formatC function # [1] "-2.085" "0.4299" "1.362" "-0.07051" "1.64"

As you can see, the formatC function has returned our numbers converted to the character class and with fewer digits.

## Example 2: Specify Number of Digits Using formatC() Function

In Example 2, Iâ€™ll illustrate how to specify the number of digits that should be returned by the formatC function.

Have a look at the following R code:

formatC(x, digits = 2) # Specify digits # [1] "-2.1" "0.43" "1.4" "-0.071" "1.6" |

formatC(x, digits = 2) # Specify digits # [1] "-2.1" "0.43" "1.4" "-0.071" "1.6"

As you can see, the number of digits has been changed. Note that each number contains two values that are unequal to zero.

## Example 3: Specify Decimal Mark Using formatC() Function

In Example 3, Iâ€™ll explain how to change the decimal mark from point to comma using the formatC function.

For this task, we can apply the decimal.mark argument as shown below:

formatC(x, decimal.mark = ",") # Specify decimal.mark # [1] "-2,085" "0,4299" "1,362" "-0,07051" "1,64" |

formatC(x, decimal.mark = ",") # Specify decimal.mark # [1] "-2,085" "0,4299" "1,362" "-0,07051" "1,64"

The decimal point of our input data has been changed to a comma separator.

## Video, Further Resources & Summary

I have recently published a video on my YouTube channel, which shows the R programming syntax of this tutorial. You can find the video below.

*The YouTube video will be added soon.*

Furthermore, you could read some of the other R tutorials that I have published on my website.

- Format Number as Percentage in R
- Force R to Show Scientific Notation
- Modify Scientific Notation on ggplot2 Plot Axis
- List of R Functions
- Introduction to R

In this article, I have shown how to **apply the formatC function** to use C-style formats for numbers in the R programming language. Donâ€™t hesitate to let me know in the comments, if you have any further questions.

### Statistics Globe Newsletter