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Data Reading and Formatting

   

Data Reading

 

String Value Request

In most assignments of your programs, you will not know the value of a string when writing your application. For example, you may want the user to provide such a string. To request a string (or any of the variables we will see in this lesson), you can call the Console.Read() or the Console.ReadLine() function and assign it to the name of the variable whose value you want to retrieve. Here is an example:

ApplicationApplication: Introducing Data Reading

  1. Launch  Microsoft Visual Studio
  2. To start a new project, on the main menu, click File -> New Project
  3. In the middle list, click Empty Project
  4. Change the Name to gdcs5 (for Georgetown Dry Cleaning Services)
  5. Click OK
  6. In the Solution Explorer, right-click gdcs5 -> Add -> New Item...
  7. In the middle list, click Code File
  8. Change the Name to ClearningOrder and press Enter
  9. To request strings from the user, change the file as follows:
    using System;
    
    public class CleaningOrder
    {
        public static int Main()
        {
            string customerName, homePhone;
    
            Console.Title = "Georgetown Dry Cleaning Services";
            Console.WriteLine("-/- Georgetown Dry Cleaning Services -/-");
            // Request customer information from the user
            Console.Write("Enter Customer Name:  ");
            customerName = Console.ReadLine();
            Console.Write("Enter Customer Phone: ");
            homePhone = Console.ReadLine();
    
            Console.Clear();
    
            // Display the receipt
            Console.WriteLine("====================================");
            Console.WriteLine("-/- Georgetown Dry Cleaning Services -/-");
            Console.WriteLine("====================================");
            Console.Write("Customer:   ");
            Console.WriteLine(customerName);
            Console.Write("Home Phone: ");
            Console.WriteLine(homePhone);
            Console.WriteLine("====================================\n");
    
            System.Console.ReadKey();
            return 0;
        }
    }
  10. Execute the program. When asked to provide a customer name, type a name, such as James Watson:
  11. Press Enter
  12. When asked to provide a phone number, type something, such as (410) 493-2005
    -/- Georgetown Dry Cleaning Services -/-
    Enter Customer Name:  James Watson
    Enter Customer Phone: (410) 493-2005
  13. Press Enter:
    ====================================
    -/- Georgetown Dry Cleaning Services -/-
    ====================================
    Customer:   James Watson
    Home Phone: (410) 493-2005
    ====================================
  14. Press Enter to close the DOS window and return to your programming environment

Number Request

In C#, everything the user types is a string and the compiler would hardly analyze it without your explicit asking it to do so. Therefore, if you want to get a number from the user, first request a string. Here is an example:

using System;

public class Exercise
{
    public static void Main()
    {
        int number;
        string strNumber;

        strnumber = Console.ReadLine();
    }
}

After getting the string, you must convert it to a number. To perform this conversion, each data type of the .NET Framework provides a mechanism called Parse. To use Parse(), type the data type, followed by a period, followed by Parse, and followed by parentheses. In the parentheses of Parse, type the string that you requested from the user. Here is an example:

using System;

public class Exercise
{
    public static void Main()
    {
        int number;
        string strNumber;

        strnumber = Console.ReadLine();
        number = int.Parse(strNumber);
    }
}

An advanced but faster way to do this is to type Console.ReadLine() in the parentheses of Parse. This has the same effect. Here is an example:

using System;

public class Exercise
{
    public static int Main()
    {
        int number;

        number = int.Parse(Console.ReadLine());
        
        return 0;
    }
}

ApplicationApplication: Reading Numeric Values

  1. To retrieve various numbers from the user, change the file as follows:
    using System;
    
    public class CleaningOrder
    {
        public static int Main()
        {
            // Price of items
            const double PriceOneShirt = 0.95;
            const double PriceAPairOfPants = 2.95;
            const double PriceOneDress = 4.55;
            const double TaxRate = 0.0575;  // 5.75%
    
            // Customer personal infoirmation
            string customerName, homePhone;
            // Unsigned numbers to represent cleaning items
            uint numberOfShirts, numberOfPants, numberOfDresses;
            // Each of these sub totals will be used for cleaning items
            double subTotalShirts, subTotalPants, subTotalDresses;
            // Values used to process an order
            double totalOrder, taxAmount, salesTotal;
            double amountTended, moneyChange;
    
            Console.Title = "Georgetown Dry Cleaning Services";
            Console.WriteLine("-/- Georgetown Dry Cleaning Services -/-");
            // Request customer information from the user
            Console.Write("Enter Customer Name:  ");
            customerName = Console.ReadLine();
            Console.Write("Enter Customer Phone: ");
            homePhone = Console.ReadLine();
    
            // Request the quantity of each category of items
            Console.Write("Number of Shirts:  ");
            string strShirts = Console.ReadLine();
            numberOfShirts = uint.Parse(strShirts);
    
            Console.Write("Number of Pants:   ");
            string strPants = Console.ReadLine();
            numberOfPants = uint.Parse(strPants);
    
            Console.Write("Number of Dresses: ");
            string strDresses = Console.ReadLine();
            numberOfDresses = uint.Parse(strDresses);
    
            // Perform the necessary calculations
            subTotalShirts = numberOfShirts * PriceOneShirt;
            subTotalPants = numberOfPants * PriceAPairOfPants;
            subTotalDresses = numberOfDresses * PriceOneDress;
            // Calculate the "temporary" total of the order
            totalOrder = subTotalShirts +
                      subTotalPants +
                      subTotalDresses;
    
            // Calculate the tax amount using a constant rate
            taxAmount = totalOrder * TaxRate;
            // Add the tax amount to the total order
            salesTotal = totalOrder + taxAmount;
    
            // Communicate the total to the user...
            Console.Write("\nThe Total order is: ");
            Console.WriteLine(salesTotal);
            // and request money for the order
            Console.Write("Amount Tended? ");
            amountTended = double.Parse(Console.ReadLine());
    
            // Calculate the difference owed to the customer
            // or that the customer still owes to the store
            moneyChange = amountTended - salesTotal;
    
            Console.Clear();
    
            // Display the receipt
            Console.WriteLine("====================================");
            Console.WriteLine("-/- Georgetown Dry Cleaning Services -/-");
            Console.WriteLine("====================================");
            Console.Write("Customer:   ");
            Console.WriteLine(customerName);
            Console.Write("Home Phone: ");
            Console.WriteLine(homePhone);
            Console.WriteLine("------------------------------------");
            Console.WriteLine("Item Type  Qty Unit/Price Sub-Total");
            Console.WriteLine("------------------------------------");
            Console.Write("Shirts      ");
            Console.Write(numberOfShirts);
            Console.Write("     ");
            Console.Write(PriceOneShirt);
            Console.Write("     ");
            Console.WriteLine(subTotalShirts);
            Console.Write("Pants       ");
            Console.Write(numberOfPants);
            Console.Write("     ");
            Console.Write(PriceAPairOfPants);
            Console.Write("     ");
            Console.WriteLine(subTotalPants);
            Console.Write("Dresses     ");
            Console.Write(numberOfDresses);
            Console.Write("     ");
            Console.Write(PriceOneDress);
            Console.Write("     ");
            Console.WriteLine(subTotalDresses);
            Console.WriteLine("------------------------------------");
            Console.Write("Total Order:     ");
            Console.WriteLine(totalOrder);
            Console.Write("Tax Rate:        ");
            Console.Write(TaxRate * 100);
            Console.WriteLine('%');
            Console.Write("Tax Amount:      ");
            Console.WriteLine(taxAmount);
            Console.Write("Net Price:       ");
            Console.WriteLine(salesTotal);
            Console.WriteLine("------------------------------------");
            Console.Write("Amount Tended:   ");
            Console.WriteLine(amountTended);
            Console.Write("Difference:      ");
            Console.WriteLine(moneyChange);
            Console.WriteLine("====================================");
    
            System.Console.ReadKey();
            return 0;
        }
    }
  2. Execute the program and test it. Here is an example:
    -/- Georgetown Dry Cleaning Services -/-
    Enter Customer Name:  Genevieve Alton
    Enter Customer Phone: (202) 974-8244
    Number of Shirts:  8
    Number of Pants:   2
    Number of Dresses: 3
    
    The Total order is: 28.711125
    Amount Tended? 30
  3. Press Enter
    ===============================
    -/- Georgetown Dry Cleaning Services -/-
    ====================================
    Customer:   Genevieve Alton
    Home Phone: (202) 974-8244
    ------------------------------------
    Item Type  Qty Unit/Price Sub-Total
    ------------------------------------
    Shirts      8     0.95     7.60
    Pants       2     2.95     5.90
    Dresses     3     4.55     13.65
    ------------------------------------
    Total Order:     27.15
    Tax Rate:        5.7500%
    Tax Amount:      1.561125
    Net Price:       28.711125
    ------------------------------------
    Amount Tended:   30
    Difference:      1.288875
    ====================================
  4. Close the DOS window

Requesting Dates and Times

As done with the regular numbers, you can request a date value from the user. This is also done by requesting a string from the user. Here is an example:

using System;

namespace ValueRequests
{
    class Exercise
    {
	static void Main()
	{
	    string strDateHired;

	    strDateHired = Console.ReadLine();
	}
    }
}

After the user has entered the string you can then convert it to a DateTime value. Just like any value you request from the user, a date or time value that the user types must be valid, otherwise, the program would produce an error. Because dates and times follow some rules for their formats, you should strive to let the user know how you expect the value to be entered.

By default, if you request only a date from the user and the user enters a valid date, the compiler would add the midnight value to the date. If you request only the time from the user and the user enters a valid time, the compiler would add the current date to the value. Later on, we will learn how to isolate either only the date or only the time.

ApplicationApplication: Requesting Date and Time Values

  1. To deal with new dates and times, change the program as follows:
    using System;
    
    public class OrderProcessing
    {
        public static int Main()
        {
            // Price of items
            const double PriceOneShirt = 0.95;
            const double PriceAPairOfPants = 2.95;
            const double PriceOneDress = 4.55;
            const double TaxRate = 0.0575;  // 5.75%
    
            // Basic information about an order
            string customerName, homePhone;
            DateTime orderDate;
            // Unsigned numbers to represent cleaning items
            uint numberOfShirts, numberOfPants, numberOfDresses;
            // Each of these sub totals will be used for cleaning items
            double subTotalShirts, subTotalPants, subTotalDresses;
            // Values used to process an order
            double totalOrder, taxAmount, salesTotal;
            double amountTended, moneyChange;
    
            Console.Title = "Georgetown Dry Cleaning Services";
            Console.WriteLine("-/- Georgetown Dry Cleaning Services -/-");
            // Request order information from the user
            Console.Write("Enter Customer Name:  ");
            customerName = Console.ReadLine();
            Console.Write("Enter Customer Phone: ");
            homePhone = Console.ReadLine();
            Console.WriteLine("Enter the order date and " +
                    "time (mm/dd/yyyy hh:mm AM/PM)");
            orderDate = DateTime.Parse(Console.ReadLine());
    
            // Request the quantity of each category of items
            Console.Write("Number of Shirts:  ");
            string strShirts = Console.ReadLine();
            numberOfShirts = uint.Parse(strShirts);
    
            Console.Write("Number of Pants:   ");
            string strPants = Console.ReadLine();
            numberOfPants = uint.Parse(strPants);
    
            Console.Write("Number of Dresses: ");
            string strDresses = Console.ReadLine();
            numberOfDresses = uint.Parse(strDresses);
    
            // Perform the necessary calculations
            subTotalShirts = numberOfShirts * PriceOneShirt;
            subTotalPants = numberOfPants * PriceAPairOfPants;
            subTotalDresses = numberOfDresses * PriceOneDress;
            // Calculate the "temporary" total of the order
            totalOrder = subTotalShirts +
                      subTotalPants +
                      subTotalDresses;
    
            // Calculate the tax amount using a constant rate
            taxAmount = totalOrder * TaxRate;
            // Add the tax amount to the total order
            salesTotal = totalOrder + taxAmount;
    
            // Communicate the total to the user...
            Console.Write("\nThe Total order is: ");
            Console.WriteLine(salesTotal);
            // and request money for the order
            Console.Write("Amount Tended? ");
            amountTended = double.Parse(Console.ReadLine());
    
            // Calculate the difference owed to the customer
            // or that the customer still owes to the store
            moneyChange = amountTended - salesTotal;
    
            Console.Clear();
    
            // Display the receipt
            Console.WriteLine("====================================");
            Console.WriteLine("-/- Georgetown Dry Cleaning Services -/-");
            Console.WriteLine("====================================");
            Console.Write("Customer:    ");
            Console.WriteLine(customerName);
            Console.Write("Home Phone:  ");
            Console.WriteLine(homePhone);
            Console.Write("Date & Time: ");
            Console.WriteLine(orderDate);
            Console.WriteLine("------------------------------------");
            Console.WriteLine("Item Type  Qty Unit/Price Sub-Total");
            Console.WriteLine("------------------------------------");
            Console.Write("Shirts      ");
            Console.Write(numberOfShirts);
            Console.Write("     ");
            Console.Write(PriceOneShirt);
            Console.Write("     ");
            Console.WriteLine(subTotalShirts);
            Console.Write("Pants       ");
            Console.Write(numberOfPants);
            Console.Write("     ");
            Console.Write(PriceAPairOfPants);
            Console.Write("     ");
            Console.WriteLine(subTotalPants);
            Console.Write("Dresses     ");
            Console.Write(numberOfDresses);
            Console.Write("     ");
            Console.Write(PriceOneDress);
            Console.Write("     ");
            Console.WriteLine(subTotalDresses);
            Console.WriteLine("------------------------------------");
            Console.Write("Total Order:     ");
            Console.WriteLine(totalOrder);
            Console.Write("Tax Rate:        ");
            Console.Write(TaxRate * 100);
            Console.WriteLine('%');
            Console.Write("Tax Amount:      ");
            Console.WriteLine(taxAmount);
            Console.Write("Net Price:       ");
            Console.WriteLine(salesTotal);
            Console.WriteLine("------------------------------------");
            Console.Write("Amount Tended:   ");
            Console.WriteLine(amountTended);
            Console.Write("Difference:      ");
            Console.WriteLine(moneyChange);
            Console.WriteLine("====================================");
    
            System.Console.ReadKey();
            return 0;
        }
    }
  2. Execute the program and test it. Here is an example:
    -/- Georgetown Dry Cleaning Services -/-
    Enter Customer Name:  Alexander Pappas
    Enter Customer Phone: (301) 397-9764
    Enter the order date and time (mm/dd/yyyy hh:mm AM/PM)
    06/22/98 08:26 AM
    Number of Shirts:  2
    Number of Pants:   6
    Number of Dresses: 0
    
    The Total order is: 20.727000
    Amount Tended? 50
  3. Press Enter:
    ====================================
    -/- Georgetown Dry Cleaning Services -/-
    ====================================
    Customer:    Alexander Pappas
    Home Phone:  (301) 397-9764
    Date & Time: 6/22/1998 8:26:00 AM
    ------------------------------------
    Item Type  Qty Unit/Price Sub-Total
    ------------------------------------
    Shirts      2     0.95     1.90
    Pants       6     2.95     17.70
    Dresses     0     4.55     0
    ------------------------------------
    Total Order:     19.60
    Tax Rate:        5.7500%
    Tax Amount:      1.127000
    Net Price:       20.727000
    ------------------------------------
    Amount Tended:   50
    Difference:      29.273000
    ====================================
  4. Return to your programming environment

Formatting Data Display

 

Introduction

Instead of using two Write() or a combination of Write() and WriteLine() to display data, you can convert a value to a string and display it directly. To do this, you can provide two strings to the Write() or WriteLine() and separate them with a comma:

  1. The first part of the string provided to Write() or WriteLine() is the complete string that would display to the user. This first string itself can be made of different sections:
    1. One section is a string in any way you want it to display
    2. Another section is a number included between an opening curly bracket "{" and a closing curly bracket "}". This combination of "{" and "}" is referred to as a placeholder

      You can put the placeholder anywhere inside of the string. The first placeholder must have number 0. The second must have number 1, etc. With this technique, you can create the string anyway you like and use the placeholders anywhere inside of the string
  2. The second part of the string provided to Write() or WriteLine() is the value that you want to display. It can be one value if you used only one placeholder with 0 in the first string. If you used different placeholders, you can then provide a different value for each one of them in this second part, separating the values with a comma

Here are examples:

using System;

public class Exercise
{
    public static void Main()
    {
        var fullName = "Anselme Bogos";
        var age = 15;
        var hSalary = 22.74;

        Console.WriteLine("Full Name: {0}", fullName);
        Console.WriteLine("Age: {0}", Age);
        Console.WriteLine("Distance: {0}", hSalary);
    }
}

This would produce:

Full Name: Anselme Bogos
Age: 15
Distance: 22.74

As mentioned already, the numeric value typed in the curly brackets of the first part is an ordered number. If you want to display more than one value, provide each incremental value in its curly brackets. The syntax used is:

Write("To Display {0} {1} {2} {n}", First, Second, Third, nth);

You can use the sections between a closing curly bracket and an opening curly bracket to create a meaningful sentence.

ApplicationApplication: Displaying Data With Placeholders

  1. To use curly brackets to display data, change the file as follows:
    using System;
    
    public class OrderProcessing
    {
        public static int Main()
        {
            // Price of items
            const double PriceOneShirt = 0.95;
            const double PriceAPairOfPants = 2.95;
            const double PriceOneDress = 4.55;
            const double TaxRate = 0.0575;  // 5.75%
    
            // Basic information about an order
            string customerName, homePhone;
            DateTime orderDate;
            // Unsigned numbers to represent cleaning items
            uint numberOfShirts, numberOfPants, numberOfDresses;
            // Each of these sub totals will be used for cleaning items
            double subTotalShirts, subTotalPants, subTotalDresses;
            // Values used to process an order
            double totalOrder, taxAmount, salesTotal;
            double amountTended, moneyChange;
    
            Console.Title = "Georgetown Dry Cleaning Services";
            Console.WriteLine("-/- Georgetown Dry Cleaning Services -/-");
            // Request order information from the user
            Console.Write("Enter Customer Name:  ");
            customerName = Console.ReadLine();
            Console.Write("Enter Customer Phone: ");
            homePhone = Console.ReadLine();
            Console.WriteLine("Enter the order date and " +
                      "time (mm/dd/yyyy hh:mm AM/PM)");
            orderDate = DateTime.Parse(Console.ReadLine());
    
            // Request the quantity of each category of items
            Console.Write("Number of Shirts:  ");
            numberOfShirts = uint.Parse(Console.ReadLine());
    
            Console.Write("Number of Pants:   ");
            numberOfPants = uint.Parse(Console.ReadLine());
    
            Console.Write("Number of Dresses: ");
            numberOfDresses = uint.Parse(Console.ReadLine());
    
            // Perform the necessary calculations
            subTotalShirts = numberOfShirts * PriceOneShirt;
            subTotalPants = numberOfPants * PriceAPairOfPants;
            subTotalDresses = numberOfDresses * PriceOneDress;
            // Calculate the "temporary" total of the order
            totalOrder = subTotalShirts +
                      subTotalPants +
                      subTotalDresses;
    
            // Calculate the tax amount using a constant rate
            taxAmount = totalOrder * TaxRate;
            // Add the tax amount to the total order
            salesTotal = totalOrder + taxAmount;
    
            // Communicate the total to the user...
            Console.Write("\nThe Total order is: ");
            Console.WriteLine(salesTotal);
            // and request money for the order
            Console.Write("Amount Tended? ");
            amountTended = double.Parse(Console.ReadLine());
    
            // Calculate the difference owed to the customer
            // or that the customer still owes to the store
            Difference = amountTended - salesTotal;
    
            Console.Clear();
    
            // Display the receipt
            Console.WriteLine("====================================");
            Console.WriteLine("-/- Georgetown Dry Cleaning Services -/-");
            Console.WriteLine("====================================");
            Console.WriteLine("Customer:    {0}", customerName);
            Console.WriteLine("Home Phone:  {0}", homePhone);
            Console.WriteLine("Date & Time: {0}", orderDate);
            Console.WriteLine("------------------------------------");
            Console.WriteLine("Item Type  Qty Unit/Price Sub-Total");
            Console.WriteLine("------------------------------------");
            Console.WriteLine("Shirts      {0}     {1}     {2}",
                      numberOfShirts,
                      PriceOneShirt, subTotalShirts);
            Console.WriteLine("Pants       {0}     {1}     {2}",
                      numberOfPants,
                      PriceAPairOfPants, subTotalPants);
            Console.WriteLine("Dresses     {0}     {1}     {2}",
                      numberOfDresses,
                      PriceOneDress, subTotalDresses);
            Console.WriteLine("------------------------------------");
            Console.WriteLine("Total Order:     {0}", totalOrder);
            Console.WriteLine("Tax Rate:        {0}%", TaxRate * 100);
            Console.WriteLine("Tax Amount:      {0}", taxAmount);
            Console.WriteLine("Net Price:       {0}", salesTotal);
            Console.WriteLine("------------------------------------");
            Console.WriteLine("Amount Tended:   {0}", amountTended);
            Console.WriteLine("Difference:      {0}", Difference);
            Console.WriteLine("====================================");
    
            System.Console.ReadKey();
            return 0;
        }
    }
  2. Execute the program and test it
  3. Close the DOS window

Conversion To String

We mentioned earlier that everything the user types using the keyboard is primarily a string and it's your job to convert it to the appropriate type. In reverse, if you have a value that is not a string, you can easily convert it to a string. To support this, each .NET Framework data type provides a mechanism called ToString. Normally, in C#, as we mentioned with boxing, and as we have done so far, this conversion is automatically or transparently done by the compiler. In some cases, you will need to perform the conversion yourself.

To convert a value of a primitive data type to a string, type the name of the variable, followed by a period, followed by ToString(). Here is an example:

using System;

public class Exercise
{
    public static void Main()
    {
        var fullName = "Anselme Bogos";
        var age = 15;
        var hSalary = 22.74;

        Console.WriteLine("Full Name: {0}", fullName);
        Console.WriteLine("Age: {0}", age.ToString());
        Console.WriteLine("Distance: {0}", hSalary.ToString());

        Console.WriteLine();
    }
}

In some cases, you will type something in the parentheses of ToString().

ApplicationApplication: Converting to String

  1. To convert some values to string, change the program as follows:
    using System;
    
    public class OrderProcessing
    {
        public static int Main()
        {
    	// Price of items
    	const double PriceOneShirt     = 0.95;
    	const double PriceAPairOfPants = 2.95;
    	const double PriceOneDress     = 4.55;
    	const double TaxRate           = 0.0575;  // 5.75%
    
    	. . . No Change
    
            Console.WriteLine("------------------------------------");
    	Console.WriteLine("Shirts      {0}     {1}     {2}",
    			      numberOfShirts.ToString(),
    			      PriceOneShirt,
    			      subTotalShirts.ToString());
    	Console.WriteLine("Pants       {0}     {1}     {2}",
    			      numberOfPants, PriceAPairOfPants,
    				 subTotalPants);
    	Console.WriteLine("Dresses     {0}     {1}     {2}",
    			      numberOfDresses, PriceOneDress, 
    			      subTotalDresses);
    	Console.WriteLine("------------------------------------");
    	Console.WriteLine("Total Order:     {0}", totalOrder);
    	Console.WriteLine("Tax Rate:        {0}%", TaxRate * 100);
    	Console.WriteLine("Tax Amount:      {0}", 
    				taxAmount.ToString());
    	Console.WriteLine("Net Price:       {0}", salesTotal);
    	Console.WriteLine("------------------------------------");
    	Console.WriteLine("Amount Tended:   {0}", amountTended);
    	Console.WriteLine("Difference:      {0}", Difference);
    	Console.WriteLine("====================================");
    	
            System.Console.ReadKey();
    	return 0;
        }
    }
  2. Execute the program and test it
  3. Close the DOS window

Number Formatting

To properly display data in a friendly and most familiar way, you can format it. Formatting tells the compiler what kind of data you are using and how you want the compiler to display it to the user. As it happens, you can display a natural number in a common value or, depending on the circumstance, you may prefer to show it as a hexadecimal value. When it comes to double-precision numbers, you may want to display a distance with three values on the right side of the decimal separator and in some cases, you may want to display a salary with only 2 decimal places.

The System namespace provides a specific letter that you can use in the Write() or WriteLine()'s placeholder for each category of data to display. To format a value, in the placeholder of the variable or value, after the number, type a colon and one of the appropriate letters from the following table. If you are using ToString(), then, in the parentheses of ToString(), you can include a specific letter or combination inside of double-quotes. The letters and their meanings are:

  Character Used For
  c C Currency values
  d D Decimal numbers
  e E Scientific numeric display such as 1.45e5
  f F Fixed decimal numbers
  g G General and most common type of numbers
  n N Natural numbers
  r R Roundtrip formatting
  x X Hexadecimal formatting
  p P Percentages

Here are examples:

using System;

public class Exercise
{
    public static void Main()
    {
        var Distance = 248.38782;
        var age = 15;
        var NewColor = 3478;
        var hSalary = 22.74;
        var HoursWorked = 35.5018473;
        var WeeklySalary = hSalary * HoursWorked;

        Console.WriteLine("Distance: {0}", Distance.ToString("E"));
        Console.WriteLine("Age: {0}", age.ToString());
        Console.WriteLine("Color: {0}", NewColor.ToString("X"));
        Console.WriteLine("Weekly Salary: {0} for {1} hours",
                          WeeklySalary.ToString("c"),
              		  HoursWorked.ToString("F"));

        Console.WriteLine();
    }
}

This would produce:

Distance: 2.483878E+002
Age: 15
Color: D96
Weekly Salary: $807.31 for 35.50 hours

As you may have noticed, if you leave the parentheses of ToString() empty, the compiler would use a default formatting to display the value.

As opposed to calling ToString(), you can use the above letters in the curly brackets of the first part of Write() or WriteLine(). In this case, after the number in the curly brackets, type the colon operator followed by the letter.

ApplicationApplication: Formatting Data Display

  1. To format data display, change the file as follows:
    using System;
    
    public class OrderProcessing
    {
        public static int Main()
        {
    	// Price of items
    	const double PriceOneShirt     = 0.95;
    	const double PriceAPairOfPants = 2.95;
    	const double PriceOneDress     = 4.55;
    	const double TaxRate           = 0.0575;  // 5.75%
    
    	// Basic information about an order
    	string customerName, homePhone;
    	DateTime orderDate;
    	// Unsigned numbers to represent cleaning items
    	uint numberOfShirts, numberOfPants, numberOfDresses;
    	// Each of these sub totals will be used for cleaning items
    	double subTotalShirts, subTotalPants, subTotalDresses;
    	// Values used to process an order
    	double totalOrder, taxAmount, salesTotal;
    	double amountTended, moneyChange;
    
    	Console.Title = "Georgetown Dry Cleaning Services";
            Console.WriteLine("-/- Georgetown Dry Cleaning Services -/-");
    	    // Request order information from the user
    	    Console.Write("Enter Customer Name:  ");
    	    customerName = Console.ReadLine();
    	    Console.Write("Enter Customer Phone: ");
    	    homePhone = Console.ReadLine();
    	    Console.WriteLine("Enter the order date and " +
    			      "time (mm/dd/yyyy hh:mm AM/PM)");
    	    orderDate = DateTime.Parse(Console.ReadLine());
    			
    	    // Request the quantity of each category of items
    	    Console.Write("Number of Shirts:  ");
    	    numberOfShirts = uint.Parse(Console.ReadLine());
    			
    	    Console.Write("Number of Pants:   ");
    	    numberOfPants = uint.Parse(Console.ReadLine());
    			
    	    Console.Write("Number of Dresses: ");
    	    numberOfDresses = uint.Parse(Console.ReadLine());
    			
    	    // Perform the necessary calculations
    	    subTotalShirts  = numberOfShirts  * PriceOneShirt;
    	    subTotalPants   = numberOfPants   * PriceAPairOfPants;
    	    subTotalDresses = numberOfDresses * PriceOneDress;
    	    // Calculate the "temporary" total of the order
    	    totalOrder      = subTotalShirts + 
    				  subTotalPants + subTotalDresses;
    
    	    // Calculate the tax amount using a constant rate
    	    taxAmount       = totalOrder * TaxRate;
    	    // Add the tax amount to the total order
    	    salesTotal      = totalOrder + taxAmount;
    
    	    // Communicate the total to the user...
    	    Console.Write("\nThe Total order is: ");
    	    Console.WriteLine(salesTotal);
    	    // and request money for the order
    	    Console.Write("Amount Tended? ");
    	    amountTended    = double.Parse(Console.ReadLine());
    
    	    // Calculate the difference owed to the customer
    	    // or that the customer still owes to the store
    	    Difference      = amountTended - salesTotal;
    
            Console.Clear();
    
    	    // Display the receipt
    	    Console.WriteLine("====================================");
    	    Console.WriteLine("-/- Georgetown Dry Cleaning Services -/-");
    	    Console.WriteLine("====================================");
    	    Console.WriteLine("Customer:    {0}", customerName);
    	    Console.WriteLine("Home Phone:  {0}", homePhone);
    	    Console.WriteLine("Date & Time: {0}", orderDate);
    	    Console.WriteLine("------------------------------------");
    	    Console.WriteLine("Item Type  Qty Unit/Price Sub-Total");
    	    Console.WriteLine("------------------------------------");
    	    Console.WriteLine("Shirts      {0}     {1:C}     {2}",
    			numberOfShirts.ToString(), PriceOneShirt,
    			subTotalShirts.ToString("C"));
    	    Console.WriteLine("Pants       {0}     {1:C}     {2:C}",
    			numberOfPants, PriceAPairOfPants,
    			subTotalPants);
    	    Console.WriteLine("Dresses     {0}     {1:C}     {2:C}",
    			      numberOfDresses, PriceOneDress,
    			      subTotalDresses);
    	    Console.WriteLine("------------------------------------");
    	    Console.WriteLine("Total Order:     {0:C}", totalOrder);
    	    Console.WriteLine("Tax Rate:        {0:P}", TaxRate);
    	    Console.WriteLine("Tax Amount:      {0}",
    			      taxAmount.ToString("C"));
    	    Console.WriteLine("Net Price:       {0:F}", salesTotal);
    	    Console.WriteLine("------------------------------------");
    	    Console.WriteLine("Amount Tended:   {0:C}", amountTended);
    	    Console.WriteLine("Difference:      {0:C}", Difference);
    	    Console.WriteLine("====================================");
    	
            System.Console.ReadKey();
    	return 0;
        }
    }
  2. Execute the application. Here is an example:
    -/- Georgetown Dry Cleaning Services -/-
    Enter Customer Name:  Gretchen McCormack
    Enter Customer Phone: (410) 739-2884
    Enter the order date and time (mm/dd/yyyy hh:mm AM/PM)
    04/09/2001 10:25 AM
    Number of Shirts:  5
    Number of Pants:   12
    Number of Dresses: 8
    
    The Total order is: 80.951625
    Amount Tended? 100
  3. Press Enter:
    ====================================
    -/- Georgetown Dry Cleaning Services -/-
    ====================================
    Customer:    Gretchen McCormack
    Home Phone:  (410) 739-2884
    Date & Time: 4/9/2001 10:25:00 AM
    ------------------------------------
    Item Type  Qty Unit/Price Sub-Total
    ------------------------------------
    Shirts      5     $0.95     $4.75
    Pants       12     $2.95     $35.40
    Dresses     8     $4.55     $36.40
    ------------------------------------
    Total Order:     $76.55
    Tax Rate:        5.75 %
    Tax Amount:      $4.40
    Net Price:       80.95
    ------------------------------------
    Amount Tended:   $100.00
    Difference:      $19.05
    ====================================
  4. Close the DOS window

Line Formatting

In the above programs, to display a line of text, we easily used Write() or WriteLine(). To position text of different lengths one above the other, we had to "corrupt" a string by including extra-empty spaces. Such a technique is uncertain and less professional. Fortunately, you can highly format how a string or a line of text should display. The .NET Framework provides mechanisms to control the amount of space used to display a string of text and how to align that string on its line.

To specify the amount of space used to display a string, you can use its placeholder in Write() or WriteLine(). To do this, in the placeholder, type the 0 or the incrementing number of the placer and its formatting character if necessary and if any. Then, type a comma followed by the number of characters equivalent to the desired width. Here are examples:

using System;

public class Exercise
{
    public static void Main()
    {
        var fullName = "Anselme Bogos";
        var age = 15;
        var hSalary = 22.74;

        Console.WriteLine("Full Name: {0,20}", fullName);
        Console.WriteLine("Age:{0,14}", age.ToString());
        Console.WriteLine("Distance: {0:C,8}", hSalary.ToString());

        Console.WriteLine();
    }
}

This would produce:

Full Name:        Anselme Bogos
Age:            15
Distance: 22.74

The sign you provide for the width is very important. If it is positive, the line of text is aligned to the right. This should be your preferred alignment for numeric values. If the number is negative, then the text is aligned to the left.

Data and Time Formatting

As mentioned earlier, when the user enters a date value for a DateTime variable, the compiler adds a time part to the value. Fortunately, if you want to consider only the date or only the time part, you can specify this to the compiler. To support this, the DateTime data type provides a series of letters you can use to format how its value should be displayed to the user. The character is entered in the placeholder of the DateTime variable after the 0 or the incremental numeric value.

ApplicationApplication: Controlling Date/Time Formatting

  1. To control formatting of date and time, change the file as follows:
    using System;
    
    public class OrderProcessing
    {
        public static int Main()
        {
    	// Price of items
    	const double PriceOneShirt     = 0.95;
    	const double PriceAPairOfPants = 2.95;
    	const double PriceOneDress     = 4.55;
    	const double TaxRate           = 0.0575;  // 5.75%
    
    	// Basic information about an order
    	string customerName, homePhone;
    	DateTime orderDate, orderTime;
    	// Unsigned numbers to represent cleaning items
    	uint numberOfShirts, numberOfPants, numberOfDresses;
    	// Each of these sub totals will be used for cleaning items
    	double subTotalShirts, subTotalPants, subTotalDresses;
    	// Values used to process an order
    	double totalOrder, taxAmount, salesTotal;
    	double amountTended, moneyChange;
    
    	Console.Title = "Georgetown Dry Cleaning Services";
            Console.WriteLine("-/- Georgetown Dry Cleaning Services -/-");
    	    // Request order information from the user
    	    Console.Write("Enter Customer Name:  ");
    	    customerName = Console.ReadLine();
    	    Console.Write("Enter Customer Phone: ");
    	    homePhone = Console.ReadLine();
    	    Console.Write("Enter the order date(mm/dd/yyyy):  ");
    	    orderDate = DateTime.Parse(Console.ReadLine());
    	    Console.Write("Enter the order time(hh:mm AM/PM): ");
    	    orderTime = DateTime.Parse(Console.ReadLine());
    
    	    // Request the quantity of each category of items
    	    Console.Write("Number of Shirts:  ");
    	    numberOfShirts = uint.Parse(Console.ReadLine());
    	
    	    Console.Write("Number of Pants:   ");
    	    numberOfPants = uint.Parse(Console.ReadLine());
    	
    	    Console.Write("Number of Dresses: ");
    	    numberOfDresses = uint.Parse(Console.ReadLine());
    
    	    // Perform the necessary calculations
    	    subTotalShirts  = numberOfShirts  * PriceOneShirt;
    	    subTotalPants   = numberOfPants   * PriceAPairOfPants;
    	    subTotalDresses = numberOfDresses * PriceOneDress;
    	    // Calculate the "temporary" total of the order
    	    totalOrder      = subTotalShirts +
    			      subTotalPants + 
    			      subTotalDresses;
    
    	    // Calculate the tax amount using a constant rate
    	    taxAmount       = totalOrder * TaxRate;
    	    // Add the tax amount to the total order
    	    salesTotal      = totalOrder + taxAmount;
    
    	    // Communicate the total to the user...
    	    Console.WriteLine("\nThe Total order is: {0:C}",
    				  salesTotal);
    	    // and request money for the order
    	    Console.Write("Amount Tended? ");
    	    amountTended    = double.Parse(Console.ReadLine());
    
    	    // Calculate the difference owed to the customer
    	    // or that the customer still owes to the store
    	    moneyChange = amountTended - salesTotal;
    
            Console.Clear();
    
    	    // Display the receipt
    	    Console.WriteLine("====================================");
    	    Console.WriteLine("-/- Georgetown Dry Cleaning Services -/-");
    	    Console.WriteLine("====================================");
    	    Console.WriteLine("Customer:    {0}", customerName);
    	    Console.WriteLine("Home Phone:  {0}", homePhone);
    	    Console.WriteLine("Order Date:  {0:D}", orderDate);
    	    Console.WriteLine("Order Time:  {0:t}", orderTime);
    	    Console.WriteLine("------------------------------------");
    	    Console.WriteLine("Item Type  Qty Unit/Price Sub-Total");
    	    Console.WriteLine("------------------------------------");
    	    Console.WriteLine("Shirts     {0}   {1}       {2}",
    			      numberOfShirts.ToString(),
    			      PriceOneShirt.ToString("C"),
    			      subTotalShirts.ToString("C"));
    	    Console.WriteLine("Pants      {0}   {1}        {2}",
    			      numberOfPants.ToString(),
    			      PriceAPairOfPants.ToString("C"),
    			      subTotalPants.ToString("C"));
    	    Console.WriteLine("Dresses    {0}   {1}        {2}",
    			      numberOfDresses.ToString(),
    			      PriceOneDress.ToString("C"),
    			      subTotalDresses.ToString("C"));
    	    Console.WriteLine("------------------------------------");
    	    Console.WriteLine("Total Order:   {0}",
    			      totalOrder.ToString("C"));
    	    Console.WriteLine("Tax Rate:      {0}",
    			      TaxRate.ToString("P"));
    	    Console.WriteLine("Tax Amount:    {0}", 
    			      taxAmount.ToString("C"));
    	    Console.WriteLine("Net Price:     {0}", 
    			      salesTotal.ToString("C"));
    	    Console.WriteLine("------------------------------------");
    	    Console.WriteLine("Amount Tended: {0}", 
    			      amountTended.ToString("C"));
    	    Console.WriteLine("Difference:    {0}", 
    			      moneyChange.ToString("C"));
    	    Console.WriteLine("====================================");
    	
            System.Console.ReadKey();
    	return 0;
        }
    }
  2. Execute the program. Here is an example:
    -/- Georgetown Dry Cleaning Services -/-
    Enter Customer Name:  Antoinette Calhoun
    Enter Customer Phone: (703) 797-1135
    Enter the order date(mm/dd/yyyy):  04/12/2002
    Enter the order time(hh:mm AM/PM): 2:12 PM
    Number of Shirts:  5
    Number of Pants:   2
    Number of Dresses: 1
    
    The Total order is: $16.07
    Amount Tended? 20
  3. Press Enter:
    ====================================
    -/- Georgetown Dry Cleaning Services -/-
    ====================================
    Customer:    Antoinette Calhoun
    Home Phone:  (703) 797-1135
    Order Date:  Friday, April 12, 2002
    Order Time:  2:12 PM
    ------------------------------------
    Item Type  Qty Unit/Price Sub-Total
    ------------------------------------
    Shirts     5   $0.95       $4.75
    Pants      2   $2.95        $5.90
    Dresses    1   $4.55        $4.55
    ------------------------------------
    Total Order:   $15.20
    Tax Rate:      5.75 %
    Tax Amount:    $0.87
    Net Price:     $16.07
    ------------------------------------
    Amount Tended: $20.00
    Difference:    $3.93
    ====================================
  4. Close the DOS window and return to your programming environment
  5. On the main menu, click File -> Close Solution
  6. When asked whether you want to save, click No
 
 

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