# [Rd] signif {base}: changes to scientific notation

**ripley@stats.ox.ac.uk
**
ripley@stats.ox.ac.uk

*Thu Feb 6 16:54:03 2003*

You are confusing signif() and printing!
signif() returns a real number.
Printing does exactly what it is described to do, and has no concept of
how the number was produced.
I guess you were looking for format(), which allows more control.
On Thu, 6 Feb 2003, Wolfram Fischer - Z/I/M wrote:
>* PROBLEM
*>* `signif' does change to scientic notation
*>* at different levels depending on the number
*>* of significant digits in the input.
*>*
*>* This can generate tables where figures change
*>* ``irregularly'' from normal to scientific notation.
*>*
*>*
*>* PROPOSAL
*>* The change to the scientific notation should
*>* be made only if the figure in scientific notation
*>* - with potentially as many significant digits as
*>* given as argument to the call of `signif' -
*>* would be shorter than the figure in normal notation.
*
This is a misunderstanding of what is happening
--
Brian D. Ripley, ripley@stats.ox.ac.uk
Professor of Applied Statistics, http://www.stats.ox.ac.uk/~ripley/
University of Oxford, Tel: +44 1865 272861 (self)
1 South Parks Road, +44 1865 272866 (PA)
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