I'm using SpherePoints and it would be helpful if the resulting points be expressed like 1.0000000000000000e-00f. AFAIK, that's IEEE double precision, but I don't know how to write the SpherePoints to directly obtain this type of output. TIA!

Edit I want to use SpherePoints, but its standard output is not formatted the way I need, which is single precision float written like 0.0000000000000000e+00f. How can I obtain this?

  • 5
    $\begingroup$ The question is unclear. Do you really want to display numbers this way by default, and if so, why? Or do you want to export the number so that they can be imported by some other software? What exactly are the requirements of that other software? $\endgroup$
    – Szabolcs
    Dec 28, 2022 at 18:26
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ You can specify how a number is displayed with NumberForm. It has a NumberFormat option, and with that you can display a number pretty much however you want. But this will create a little display "object", making it tricky to use in later computations. So, I'll second @Szabolcs here and suggest you be more specific about your use case. $\endgroup$
    – lericr
    Dec 28, 2022 at 18:46
  • $\begingroup$ It's for a "file.h" use in C++, pre-compilation. Like this one git.iem.at/audioplugins/IEMPluginSuite/-/blob/master/… $\endgroup$ Dec 28, 2022 at 19:05
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ There is CForm but it will not give that specific format. Maybe these are related mathematica.stackexchange.com/q/209239/86543 or mathematica.stackexchange.com/q/175094/86543 $\endgroup$ Dec 28, 2022 at 19:15
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ CForm should be sufficient though, as it preserves enough digits for a double precision number. However, what you show, with an f suffix, is not double precision, but single precision. $\endgroup$
    – Szabolcs
    Dec 28, 2022 at 20:11

3 Answers 3


In Mathematica, you can use the NumberForm function to format the output of your SpherePoints as a string in the desired format.

For example, if you have a list of SpherePoints called points, you can use NumberForm as follows:

NumberForm[#, {Infinity, 20}, ExponentFunction -> (If[# =!= 0, #, Null] &), 
  NumberFormat -> (Row[{"1.", StringJoin[ConstantArray["0", 19]], "e-00f"}])] & /@ points

This will apply the formatting to all elements of the points list, and return a list of formatted strings.

Alternatively, you can use NumberForm to directly format the output of a command such as SpherePoints, like this:

NumberForm[SpherePoints[3], {Infinity, 20}, ExponentFunction -> (If[# =!= 0, #, Null] &), 
  NumberFormat -> (Row[{"1.", StringJoin[ConstantArray["0", 19]], "e-00f"}])]

This will format the output of SpherePoints[3] as a string in the desired format.

  • $\begingroup$ I understand that my question is not clear, and I apologize for that. It seems that the combination of SpherePoints and NumberForm will get me what I want which is, as an example: {0.0000000000000000e+00f, 0.0000000000000000e+00f, 1.0000000000000000e+00f}, {1.5761817249325915e-02f, 0.0000000000000000e+00f, 9.9987577484255452e-01f}, {1.0157555473482039e-02f, 1.4310204560850257e-02f, 9.9984600919953159e-01f}, {-3.5874636993705696e-03f, 1.9604752254683097e-02f, 9.9980137217011167e-01f} $\endgroup$ Dec 29, 2022 at 13:39

As I understand, you want to generate some C code which represents an array of 3D coordinates, created with SpherePoints. You can do this with string processing and CForm.


coordsToC3D[coord_] := "float coord[][3] = {\n\t\t" <>
   ToString /@ Map[CForm, coord, {2}],
   ] <>
"float coord[][3] = {
        {-0.8944271909999157, 0., -0.44721359549995787},
        {0.8944271909999157, 0., 0.44721359549995787},
        {-0.7236067977499789, -0.5257311121191336, 0.44721359549995787},
        {-0.7236067977499789, 0.5257311121191336, 0.44721359549995787},
        {-0.276393202250021, -0.85065080835204, -0.44721359549995787},
        {-0.276393202250021, 0.85065080835204, -0.44721359549995787},
        {0.276393202250021, -0.85065080835204, 0.44721359549995787},
        {0.276393202250021, 0.85065080835204, 0.44721359549995787},
        {0.7236067977499789, -0.5257311121191336, -0.44721359549995787},
        {0.7236067977499789, 0.5257311121191336, -0.44721359549995787}

This produces numbers with enough digits for double precision (double), which means that it's also sufficient for float.

You can export this to a file using Export, picking the "String" format.


I finally settled for ScientificForm[SpherePoints[960000],17,NumberFormat->(Row[{#1,"e",#3}]&)] which gave (1st two points as example)


Followed by a few search & replace in BBEdit, which gave what I needed

{-1.843418834797695e-03f, 1.688722657253876e-03f, -9.9999687500651e-01f},
{2.82164651892168e-04f, -3.215120673928504e-03f, -9.99994791677517e-01f},

Thanks everybody!


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