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Sets the desired format to accept and display the value for an attribute or variable.


Level: Attribute, Variable


This property is offered for Attributes and Variables to set their edit format (mask). The following table shows the possible values that can be entered for the property:

9 Indicates that a digit between 0 and 9 must be entered or shown.
Z Indicates that you want to show blank when there is a left zero. The Z must be in uppercase.
# Indicates that you do not want to show insignificant zeros to the left or right of the decimal point.
? Indicates that you want to show blank when there are insignificant zeros to the left or to the right of the decimal point, maintaining the alignment of the number.
.(period) IDE decimal separator representation.


IDE thousand separator representation.
X Represents any character.
! Represents a single character in uppercase.
+ Indicates that all values (positives and negatives) will be displayed preceded by the sign.
@!  Indicates that you want the full field to be entered and shown in uppercase.
( )

Indicates that negative values are displayed in parentheses and positive values remain the same. For example, for picture (99.9) value 12 will be displayed as 12 and value -12 as (12).

DB Indicates that negative values will not include the sign and will be followed by the string "DB" (debit), while positive values will be followed by the string "CR" (credit).

Note that the decimal separator (period character) and thousand separator (comma character) will be generated according to the Decimal separator property.

If the picture changes at runtime to decrease precision (for example, from 999.99 to 999), the decimal value is lost; if after that it returns to the original value, the decimal will be 00 until the variable value is set again.

If Z is placed to the right of the decimal part of a number, it behaves the same as 9. 

Runtime/Design time

This property applies both at runtime and at design time.


  • For Numeric fields —for example, a Numeric(4) attribute— by default its Picture property value will be ZZZ9. This means that non-significant zeros will not be shown. If you want the zeros on the left of the number to be displayed, you must set the value 9999.
  • For Date data type fields:
  • Horizontal Format (No Point Alignment)

This format does not align the numbers to the decimal point, which is ideal for horizontal reading. Insignificant zeros are not displayed.

picture = ##########9.#### = ZZZZZZZZZZ9.####
v01:      123456.12
v02: 123456789.1234
v03:              0
v04:            0.1
  • Portrait Format (Point Aligned)

This format aligns numbers to the decimal point, ideal for vertical reading. Insignificant zeros are shown as spaces.

picture = ??????????9.???? = ZZZZZZZZZZ9.????
v01:    123456.12
v02: 123456789.1234
v03:         0
v04:         0.1
  • Format Without Digit 9 in Definition

This format shows how zeros and the number 0.1 are handled without the digit 9 in the definition.

picture = ###########.#### = ZZZZZZZZZZZ.####
v01:      123456.12
v02: 123456789.1234
v04:             .1

See Also

Picture Properties Group

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