Formats data as a string according to a specified display format mask. You can convert and format date, DateTime, numeric, and time data. You can also apply a display format to a string.


String ( data {, format } )




The data you want returned as a string with the specified formatting. Data can have a date, DateTime, numeric, time, or string datatype.

format  (optional)

A string of the display masks you want to use to format the data. The masks consist of formatting information specific to the datatype of data. If data is type string, format is required.

The format string can consist of more than one mask, depending on the datatype of data. Each mask is separated by a semicolon. See Usage for details on each datatype.

Return value

String. Returns data in the specified format if it succeeds and the empty string ("") if the datatype of data does not match the type of display mask specified or format is not a valid mask.


For date, DateTime, numeric, and time data, the system's default format is used for the returned string if you do not specify a format. For numeric data, the default format is the [General] format.

For string data, a display format mask is required. (Otherwise, the function would have nothing to do.)

The format can consist of one or more masks:

  • Formats for date, DateTime, string, and time data can include one or two masks. The first mask is the format for the data; the second mask is the format for a null value.

  • Formats for numeric data can have up to four masks. A format with a single mask handles both positive and negative data. If there are additional masks, the first mask is for positive values, and the additional masks are for negative, zero, and null values.

A format can include color specifications.

If the display format does not match the datatype, the attempt to apply the mask produces unpredictable results.

For information on specifying display formats, see the Users Guide.

For information about localized deployment files, see "Deploying Your Application" in the Users Guide.


This expression returns Jan 31, 2005:

String(2005-01-31, "mmm dd, yyyy")

This expression returns Jan 31, 2005 6 hrs and 8 min:

String(2005-01-31 06:08:00, 'mmm dd, yyyy, h "hrs 
and" m "min"')

This expression:

String(nbr, "0000;(000);****;empty")


0123 if nbr is 123

(123) if nbr is -123

**** if nbr is 0

empty if nbr is null

This expression returns A-B-C:

String("ABC", "@-@-@")

This expression returns A*B:

String("ABC", "@*@")

This expression returns ABC:

String("ABC", "@@@")

This expression returns a space:

String("ABC", " ")

This expression returns 6 hrs and 8 min:

String(06:08:02,'h "hrs and" m "min"')

This expression returns 08:06:04 pm:

String(20:06:04, "hh:mm:ss am/pm")

This expression returns 8:06:04 am:

String(08:06:04, "h:mm:ss am/pm")

This expression returns 6:11:25.300000:

String(6:11:25.300000, "h:mm:ss.ffffff")