Convert string in scientific notation to number format in XPath

I have this String:


This string is actually a result of a calculation (unfortunately the result is converted to string and I can't change it).

So how could I convert this String to a format like 00.081?

I'm looking at XPath reference but I can't find a format() function for example. Is there a way of doing this in XPath?

XPath 1.0 solution

If you are stuck with XPath 1.0 and your input is of the form (mantissa E+ exponent) or (mantissa E- exponent) you can use this hack (which is not very nice but gets the job done):

           /number[not(contains(.,'E')) and not(contains(.,'e'))]
     ), 'Na', ''

It extracts the mantissa (string before the E or e) and then obtains a fraction or power of 10 by shifting a string of zeros the amount of positions determined by the exponent, Then it multiplies this with the mantissa. It deals separately with the case of positive or negative exponents. Since there is no if in XPath, it concatenates both results as strings, and allows one of them to produce 'NaN, which is removed later.

For example, if the exponent is +2 it will get the 100 substring from the first or third string. If it is +5 it will get 10000 and if it is -3 it will extract the 0.001 substring from the second or fourth strings. It then will multiply that number with the mantissa.

Since you will either have e+ or e-, one of them will be the string NaN which is then removed from the final string using the translate function (it removes all N and a characters, which never occur in decimal numbers or scientific notation). The last concat argument deals with the case where the number is not in scientific notation.

The e can be in upper or lower case.


  1. It won't work if you have positive exponents without the +
  2. It will show incorrect results if the absolute value of the exponent is larger than 15.
  3. It also will fail if you have hexadecimal values (since any a will be removed from the final result).

Applying it to this file:


it will read normally as:


But 2.34e+5 will be read as 234000 and 2.34E-005 will become 0.0000234.

xpath exponent - Re: Floating point numbers in XPath, Numbers are converted to strings using the following rules: * NaN is scientific notation for the string value of a number in this description. In scientific notation all numbers are written in the form of m×10 n (m times ten raised to the power of n), where the exponent n is an integer, and the coefficient m is any real number, called the significand or mantissa. If the number is negative then a minus sign precedes m (as in ordinary decimal notation).

You can use the function number(). This works with xpath 2.0.

Here is an example of how it would work.







Hope this helps!

Working with Scientific Notation, numbers represented in scientific notation to a standard decimal. The situation is this: I converted a spreadsheet from MS Excel 2002 into an MS XML XPath 2.0 will). My recommendation is to do this as a string processing operation, with as XPath 1.0 solution. If you are stuck with XPath 1.0 and your input is of the form ( mantissa E+ exponent) or ( mantissa E- exponent) you can use this hack (which is not very nice but gets the job done): translate ( concat ( number (substring ('100000000000000',1,number (substring-after (/number,'E+'))+1))*number (substring-before (/number,'E+')), number (concat (substring ('0.00000000000000',1,number (substring-after (/number,'E-'))+1),'1'))*number (substring-before (/number,'E-')), number

I've had the same issue on Xpath > 1.0. Just for completeness I solved mine with:


Works fine

XSLT format-number() Function, The format-number() function is used to convert a number into a string. Syntax. string format-number(number,format,[decimalformat]). Parameters. Parameter� Default Format: 12345.67890123 Scientific Notation: 1.23E+4 Default Format: 123456789 Scientific Notation: 1.23E+8 Default Format: 12345.67890123 Scientific Notation: 1.23E+04 turgay Posted in C# .NET , String Formatting Leave a comment

In case it helps, Sauer's solution has solved my problem. The line below was returning 3.00375e2. With xs:decimal now I get 300.375.


If you want to limit the number of decimals, you can use the round function, as follows:

/products/round(xs:decimal(avg(product[contains(name/text(),"Microprocessor")]/price))*100) div 100

RE: [xsl] Outputting a number in "scientific notation" -- is this XSLT , XSLT 1.0 says that xsl:value-of converts the number to a string as if by the XPath does not use > scientific notation for floating point numbers,� gen str17 ids= string(id) but i get string that has scientific notation, for example 1.02e+09 or 3.03e+15. Why does this happen and how can i get string that just contains the long number, just in string type?

XPath 2.0 Expression Syntax, From Saxon 7.1, string delimiters can be doubled within the string to Numeric constants follow the Java rules for decimal literals: for example, 12 or 3.05; as a double precision floating point number if it uses scientific notation (e.g.) 1.0e7 ) According to the XPath 2.0 specification, numeric expression is converted to a� Converting numbers to string : The string() function converts a number to a string by the following ways: NaN (Not a Number) is converted to the string NaN. positive zero is converted to the string "0". negative zero is converted to the string "0". positive infinity is converted to the string "Infinity".

xsl:decimal-format, If the xsl:decimal-format element has a name attribute, it identifies a named to represent the xs:double value Nan (not-a-number); the default is the string ( NaN ). is new in XPath 3.1, and allows formating of numbers in scientific notation. When you convert real/float values to varchar/nvarchar, it will convert as the regualr decimal number when the digits are less than 7 otherwise it will use the scientific notation. So, here we are first parsing the string value into real and then parsing into money (money never uses the scientific notation).

Convert a number in scientific notation to decimal format using XSLT , I have not find clear example on how to do this. I want to pass 2 regex-group result to variable inside analyse-string one should be tranformed from hexadecimal to� The representation of very small and very large numbers in the code above can be presented in default format or in a format the precludes use of scientific notation.

  • In XPath 2.0 number() which will give you 0.081161 but in XPath 1.0 it will not be recognized as number and give you NaN. I don't think there is a ways of doing this with pure XPath 1.0. Where's that value comming from, can you fix it on that end?
  • It comes from another system so I can't change it there. I tried number() and it does give me NaN as result. So there;s no way of solving this with pure XPath 1.0?
  • @Dalek you can also use format-number() XSLT function.
  • No, I don't think there is a way... @alecxe in XSLT 1.0 format-number() would return NaN too.
  • In an XSLT 1.0 context, this could be solved using the EXSLT extension function math:power together with substring-before and substring-after.
  • thanks for the answer. Question: How would this solution deal with "correct" inputs? For example when value = "10". It's tricky because I can't use an if statement in xpath 1.0.
  • I fixed it. Now it deals with both scientific notation and "plain" numbers. I also made it simpler using translate().
  • Omg, this is really crazy! You are an xpath genius :)