Format masks, which are specified in your row and column definitions, define how FSG prints numerical values on your reports. With a format mask, you can control:
- Number of digits displayed on both sides of the decimal point.
- Symbol used to separate thousands.
- Symbol used as the decimal indicator.
- Other information you want printed before or after your amounts.
A format mask is comprised of control characters representing the various formatting features you can control. These control characters are:
Number Indicator: This is always the numeric digit "9". For each 9 which appears in the format mask, FSG will print one number of a value. For example, a format mask of 9999 will print four numbers.
Decimal Symbol: Most countries use a period as the symbol for a decimal point. Some countries do not. With a format mask, you can specify what symbol to use for numbers displayed in specific rows and columns. For example, the format mask 999.99 uses a period, while the format mask 999,99 uses a comma as the decimal point.
Thousands Symbol: Most countries use a comma to separate thousands. Some countries do not. With a format mask, you can specify what symbol to use for numbers displayed in specific rows and columns. For example, the format mask 99,999 uses a comma, while the format mask 99*999 uses an asterisk as the thousands separator.
Note: For the thousands symbol to have meaning, you must enable the General Ledger profile option Currency: Thousands Separator.
Currency Symbol: As with the decimal and thousands symbol, you can specify whatever symbol you need for currency values. For example, to display U.S. dollars, you can specify a dollar sign. To display British pounds, you can specify a pound sign.
Other Characters: You can include any other leading and/or trailing characters in a format mask. For example, you could have each number print with the phrase "(estimated)" immediately following it.
Example Format Masks
The table below shows how the number 4234941 would be displayed using different format masks:
|DM 99,999,999 (translated)
||DM 4,234,941 (translated)
Since format masks affect how FSG displays values on your reports, you must take your format masks into consideration when determining the widths of the columns in your column sets.
If you define both a row and column format mask, FSG uses the smaller of the column format width or position width for printing report values. The row format width is ignored.
- Format width -- is the total number of print positions represented by the format mask, including number indicators, decimal symbol, thousands symbol, currency symbol, and other characters.
- Position width -- is the number of print positions you specified in your column definitions. It is computed as the difference between the starting positions of two adjacent columns, less one space, which is automatically reserved by FSG to ensure there is always at least one space between columns. For example, if you used 50 as the starting position for Column 1 and 70 as the starting position for Column 2, the position width of Column 1 is 19.
If the column width is too small to accommodate a formatted amount (including any leading and trailing characters), FSG will try to alter the formatting so the value can be printed on your report. FSG follows these printing rules, in order, when trying to alter the amount format:
- Print as many leading characters as will fit in the column.
- Print as many trailing characters as will fit in the column.
Any remaining spaces are used to print the formatted numeric value. Formatting continues to be stripped, as necessary, according to the next three rules.
- Omit thousands separators.
- Omit the positive and negative currency format characters specified in the General Ledger user profile options Currency: Negative Format and Currency: Positive Format. For example, if you specified the negative format [XXX], FSG omits the brackets and substitutes the negative format -XXX instead.
- If, after all printing rules have been applied, the column width is still too small to accommodate the number, FSG will print pound signs instead of the amount.
Note: FSG will never alter an amount by truncating it.
Currency formats override any formatting options you specify in your row and/or column sets, except for precision, leading characters, and trailing characters. You specify a currency format by setting:
- Standard and extended precision in the Currencies window.
Accordingly, when you create format masks and determine column positions for your FSG reports, you should consider how you defined your currency formats.
- Currency profile options in the Personal Profile Values window.
Setting General Ledger Profile Options