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Last updated: Tue, 19 Sep 2006


(PHP 4 >= 4.3.0, PHP 5)

money_format -- Formats a number as a currency string


string money_format ( string format, float number )

money_format() returns a formatted version of number. This function wraps the C library function strfmon(), with the difference that this implementation converts only one number at a time.

Note: The function money_format() is only defined if the system has strfmon capabilities. For example, Windows does not, so money_format() is undefined in Windows.

The format specification consists of the following sequence:

  • a % character

  • optional flags

  • optional field width

  • optional left precision

  • optional right precision

  • a required conversion character

Flags. One or more of the optional flags below can be used:


The character = followed by a (single byte) character f to be used as the numeric fill character. The default fill character is space.


Disable the use of grouping characters (as defined by the current locale).

+ or (

Specify the formatting style for positive and negative numbers. If + is used, the locale's equivalent for + and - will be used. If ( is used, negative amounts are enclosed in parenthesis. If no specification is given, the default is +.


Suppress the currency symbol from the output string.


If present, it will make all fields left-justified (padded to the right), as opposed to the default which is for the fields to be right-justified (padded to the left).

Field width.


A decimal digit string specifying a minimum field width. Field will be right-justified unless the flag - is used. Default value is 0 (zero).

Left precision.


The maximum number of digits (n) expected to the left of the decimal character (e.g. the decimal point). It is used usually to keep formatted output aligned in the same columns, using the fill character if the number of digits is less than n. If the number of actual digits is bigger than n, then this specification is ignored.

If grouping has not been suppressed using the ^ flag, grouping separators will be inserted before the fill characters (if any) are added. Grouping separators will not be applied to fill characters, even if the fill character is a digit.

To ensure alignment, any characters appearing before or after the number in the formatted output such as currency or sign symbols are padded as necessary with space characters to make their positive and negative formats an equal length.

Right precision .


A period followed by the number of digits (p) after the decimal character. If the value of p is 0 (zero), the decimal character and the digits to its right will be omitted. If no right precision is included, the default will dictated by the current local in use. The amount being formatted is rounded to the specified number of digits prior to formatting.

Conversion characters .


The number is formatted according to the locale's international currency format (e.g. for the USA locale: USD 1,234.56).


The number is formatted according to the locale's national currency format (e.g. for the de_DE locale: DM1.234,56).


Returns the % character.

Note: The LC_MONETARY category of the locale settings, affects the behavior of this function. Use setlocale() to set to the appropriate default locale before using this function.

Characters before and after the formatting string will be returned unchanged.

Example 1. money_format() Example

We will use different locales and format specifications to illustrate the use of this function.


$number = 1234.56;

// let's print the international format for the en_US locale
setlocale(LC_MONETARY, 'en_US');
echo money_format('%i', $number) . "\n";  
// USD 1,234.56

// Italian national format with 2 decimals`
setlocale(LC_MONETARY, 'it_IT');
echo money_format('%.2n', $number) . "\n";
// L. 1.234,56

// Using a negative number
$number = -1234.5672;

// US national format, using () for negative numbers
// and 10 digits for left precision
setlocale(LC_MONETARY, 'en_US');
echo money_format('%(#10n', $number) . "\n";
// ($        1,234.57)

// Similar format as above, adding the use of 2 digits of right 
// precision and '*' as a fill character
echo money_format('%=*(#10.2n', $number) . "\n";
// ($********1,234.57)
// Let's justify to the left, with 14 positions of width, 8 digits of
// left precision, 2 of right precision, withouth grouping character
// and using the international format for the de_DE locale.
setlocale(LC_MONETARY, 'de_DE');
echo money_format('%=*^-14#8.2i', 1234.56) . "\n";
// DEM 1234,56****

// Let's add some blurb before and after the conversion specification
setlocale(LC_MONETARY, 'en_GB');
$fmt = 'The final value is %i (after a 10%% discount)';
echo money_format($fmt, 1234.56) . "\n";
// The final value is  GBP 1,234.56 (after a 10% discount)


See also: setlocale(), number_format(), sprintf(), printf() and sscanf().

Last updated: Tue, 19 Sep 2006