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Python | Output Formatting
  • Difficulty Level : Easy
  • Last Updated : 09 Feb, 2021

There are several ways to present the output of a program, data can be printed in a human-readable form, or written to a file for future use or even in some other specified form. Sometimes user often wants more control the formatting of output than simply printing space-separated values. There are several ways to format output. 

  • To use formatted string literals, begin a string with f or F before the opening quotation mark or triple quotation mark.
  • The str.format() method of strings help a user to get a fancier Output
  • Users can do all the string handling by using string slicing and concatenation operations to create any layout that the user wants. The string type has some methods that perform useful operations for padding strings to a given column width.

Formatting output using String modulo operator(%) : 
The % operator can also be used for string formatting. It interprets the left argument much like a printf()-style format as in C language string to be applied to the right argument. In Python, there is no printf() function but the functionality of the ancient printf is contained in Python. To this purpose, the modulo operator % is overloaded by the string class to perform string formatting. Therefore, it is often called a string modulo (or sometimes even called modulus) operator. 
The string modulo operator ( % ) is still available in Python(3.x) and the user is using it widely. But nowadays the old style of formatting is removed from the language. 


# Python program showing how to use
# string modulo operator(%) to print
# fancier output
# print integer and float value
print("Geeks : %2d, Portal : %5.2f" % (1, 05.333))
# print integer value
print("Total students : %3d, Boys : %2d" % (240, 120))
# print octal value
print("%7.3o" % (25))
# print exponential value
print("%10.3E" % (356.08977))

Output : 

Geeks :  1, Portal : 5.33
Total students : 240, Boys : 120


There are two of those in our example: “%2d” and “%5.2f”. The general syntax for a format placeholder is: 


Let’s take a look at the placeholders in our example. 

  • The first placeholder “%2d” is used for the first component of our tuple, i.e. the integer 1. The number will be printed with 2 characters. As 1 consists only of one digit, the output is padded with 1 leading blanks.
  • The second one “%5.2f” is a format description for a float number. Like other placeholders, it is introduced with the % character. This is followed by the total number of digits the string should contain. This number includes the decimal point and all the digits, i.e. before and after the decimal point.
  • Our float number 05.333 has to be formatted with 5 characters. The decimal part of the number or the precision is set to 2, i.e. the number following the “.” in our placeholder. Finally, the last character “f” of our placeholder stands for “float”.

Formatting output using the format method : 
The format() method was added in Python(2.6). The format method of strings requires more manual effort. Users use {} to mark where a variable will be substituted and can provide detailed formatting directives, but the user also needs to provide the information to be formatted. This method lets us concatenate elements within an output through positional formatting. For Example – 
Code 1: 


# Python program showing
# use of format() method
# using format() method
print('I love {} for "{}!"'.format('Geeks', 'Geeks'))
# using format() method and refering
# a position of the object
print('{0} and {1}'.format('Geeks', 'Portal'))
print('{1} and {0}'.format('Geeks', 'Portal'))
# the above formatting can also be done by using f-Strings
# Although, this features work only with python 3.6 or above.
print(f"I love {'Geeks'} for \"{'Geeks'}!\"")
# using format() method and refering
# a position of the object
print(f"{'Geeks'} and {'Portal'}")

Output : 

I love Geeks for "Geeks!"
Geeks and Portal
Portal and Geeks

The brackets and characters within them (called format fields) are replaced with the objects passed into the format() method. A number in the brackets can be used to refer to the position of the object passed into the format() method. 
Code 2: 


# Python program showing
# a use of format() method
# combining positional and keyword arguments
print('Number one portal is {0}, {1}, and {other}.'
     .format('Geeks', 'For', other ='Geeks'))
# using format() method with number
print("Geeks :{0:2d}, Portal :{1:8.2f}".
      format(12, 00.546))
# Changing positional argument
print("Second argument: {1:3d}, first one: {0:7.2f}".
      format(47.42, 11))
print("Geeks: {a:5d},  Portal: {p:8.2f}".
     format(a = 453, p = 59.058))


Number one portal is Geeks, For, and Geeks.
Geeks :12, Portal :    0.55
Second argument:  11, first one:   47.42
Geeks:   453, Portal:    59.06

The following diagram with an example usage depicts how the format method works for positional parameters: 

Code 3: 


# Python program to
# show format () is
# used in dictionary
tab = {'geeks': 4127, 'for': 4098, 'geek': 8637678}
# using format() in dictionary
print('Geeks: {0[geeks]:d}; For: {0[for]:d}; '
    'Geeks: {0[geek]:d}'.format(tab))
data = dict(fun ="GeeksForGeeks", adj ="Portal")
# using format() in dictionary
print("I love {fun} computer {adj}".format(**data))


Geeks: 4127; For: 4098; Geeks: 8637678
I love GeeksForGeeks computer Portal

Formatting output using the String method : 
This output is formatted by using string slicing and concatenation operations. The string type has some methods that help in formatting output in a fancier way. Some of method which help in formatting a output are str.ljust(), str.rjust(), str.centre()


# Python program to
# format a output using
# string() method
cstr = "I love geeksforgeeks"
# Printing the center aligned 
# string with fillchr
print ("Center aligned string with fillchr: ")
print (, '#'))
# Printing the left aligned 
# string with "-" padding 
print ("The left aligned string is : ")
print (cstr.ljust(40, '-'))
# Printing the right aligned string
# with "-" padding 
print ("The right aligned string is : ")
print (cstr.rjust(40, '-'))


Center aligned string with fillchr: 
##########I love geeksforgeeks##########

The left aligned string is : 
I love geeksforgeeks--------------------

The right aligned string is : 
--------------------I love geeksforgeeks


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