Formatting Output

As you type your calculations, the output is calculated, formatted, and placed in the results panel. The default formatting of result values can be changed by going to Preferences > Format.

You can also change the formatting for a specific line using formatting commands. A formatting command uses one of the conversion operators as, to, in, or format followed by the format to be changed. It's used when converting units as in 4 meters as feet, but can also be used for formatting commands such as pi to 4 digits. If you want to use more than one formatting command, add a colon after the operator and list the commands separated by a comma. For example, 1 million format: scientific, 4 digits.


Formatting commands never change the calculation; only how the output is displayed

Most formatting commands can also be set if you click on the result of the line you want to change. Select the format you want to change from the menu, and the associated formatting command will be inserted on that line.


When a value is not a whole number, you can adjust the number of digits displayed after the decimal point. To set the default decimal places, go to Preferences > Format > Scale and adjust the slider.

Formatting Command

You can also set the precision on a specific line using a formatting command with one of the phrases decimal place, dp, or digit.

pi to 4 digits
1/3 format: 3 decimal places

Showing Zeros After the Decimal Point

If the result is a whole number, by default no digits are shown after the decimal point. If you want to show the zeros after the decimal point, go to Preferences > Format > Scale and click the gear icon next to the decimal places slider. Click Show Trailing Zeros to have all results display digits after the decimal point, even if they're all zeros. Selecting the menu again will let you Hide Trailing Zeros.


If a line is being displayed in accounting format, trailing zeros are always shown

You can also change the display of trailing zeros using a formatting command with the phrase show zeros or trim zeros. The default is to trim zeros:

42 format: show zeros
2.5 format: show zeros

Rounding Algorithm

The method of rounding can be set for values when they aren't exact numbers. For example, pi rounded to 5 digits is 3.14159, but when rounded to 4 digits it's 3.1416.

To select a rounding method, go to Preferences > Format > Scale and click the gear icon next to the decimal places slider. Choose Rounding and then the rounding method you prefer.

Figures supports all the typical rounding methods:

Thousands Separators

Large numbers are normally shown with thousands separators (also known as 'grouping separators' for languages that don't always separate into groups of three). For example, in the U.S. the number "one thousand" would be shown as 1,000. If you'd prefer not show these separators in the results, go to Preferences > Format > Scale and uncheck the box at the bottom.

There is also a formatting command to control thousands separators using the phrase hide separators or show separators. The default is to show the separators:

50 × 30
50 × 50  format: hide separators

Automatic Unit Conversion

Some units typically combine to form another commonly used unit. For example, one Joule per second is equal to one Watt. By default, Figures will automatically handle some common conversions.

30 joules / 5 seconds
120 hertz × 3 seconds
10 newtons × 20 meters
6 W
200 J

To turn off automatic unit conversion, go to Preferences > Format > Scale and uncheck the box at the bottom. You can also override the behavior for a single calculation by explicitly converting to your preferred units.

30 joules / 5 seconds in calories/min
10 newtons × 20 meters in newton meters
86.04 cal/min
200 N m

Shortened Formats

Large and small numbers can be difficult to read so Figures gives you the option to shorten them to make it easier. To set your preferred format, go to Preferences > Format > Scale. There are two sliders for controlling shortened formats: one for large numbers and another for small numbers. Select how large/small a number needs to be before it's shortened and what format should be used.

Supported Formats

Figures supports the following shortened formats:

Here's the format names used by Figures:

Cardinal name (short)Cardinal name (long)SymbolValue

Note that there are two different scales for cardinal names in the table. The short scale is typically used, but Figures also supports the long scale. You can select which scale you prefer by going to Preferences > Format > Region. Choose one of the options under Cardinal Scale.

Exponent Symbol

If you use scientific or engineering formats, you can also control the display of the exponent. To change the exponent format, go to Preferences > Format > Region and choose an option under Exponent Symbol. The options available are as follows:

Formatting Command

You can set the shortened format using a formatting command with the name of the format. Formatting commands have more options available than the app-wide defaults:

Didn't find what you were looking for?

Contact Us