WoW:API format

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WoW Lua

Creates a formatted string from format and substitution parameters, similar to sprintf in C.

local s = string.format(formatstring, e1, e2, ...)
local s = format(formatstring, e1, e2, ...)


  • formatstring - the format string
  • ... - list of substitutions of any relevant type


  • formatted string


Create a formatted string from the format and arguments provided. This is similar to the printf("format",...) function in C. An additional option %q returns string in a format that can safely be read back by Lua interpreter (puts quotes around a string and escapes special characters), but used by World of Warcraft to preparse all strings before saving them between sessions. Lua supports the following subset of the C format specifiers, plus Lua specific 'q'

Substitution escapes[edit]

  • c, d, E, e, f, g, G, i, o, u, X, x (expect a number as argument)
  • q, s (expect a string as argument)
  • % (escape char, to produce % use %%)


String and quoted string

string.format("%s %q", "Hello", "Lua user!")
Hello "Lua user!"


string.format("%c%c%c", 76,117,97)


string.format("%e, %E", math.pi, math.pi) 
3.141593e+000, 3.141593E+000

Float and compact float

string.format("%f, %g, %.2f", math.pi, math.pi, math.pi) 
3.141593, 3.14159, 3.14

Signed, signed, unsigned integer

string.format("%d, %i, %u", -100,-100,-100) 
-100, -100, 4294967196

Octal, hex, hex

string.format("%o, %x, %X", -100,-100,-100)
37777777634, ffffff9c, FFFFFF9C

Note: if you want a % character to be output as part of your format string, you need to enter %%

string.format("Ratio is %u %%",12)
Ratio is 12 %

Macro Example[edit]

This macro prints out the time remaining on the Polymorph debuff in seconds, rounded to the nearest whole number:

/run for i=1,40 do local n,_,_,_,_,_,x,_,_=UnitDebuff("focus",i);if (n=="Polymorph")or (n=="Polymorph(Pig)")or (n=="Polymorph(Turtle)")then SendChatMessage(format("%.0f",-1*(GetTime()-x)).." secs left on "..UnitName("focus").."'s CC!","EMOTE");end end

External links[edit]