How do I display negative number in parentheses?

The code snippet below show us how to display or format negative number in parentheses. We start by defining the number format, the pattern has two parts separated by a semicolon. In the snippet we use the #,##0.00;(#,##0.00) pattern. The pattern after the semicolon will be use to format negative number.

Next we create an instance of DecimalFormat by calling getInstance() method. We apply the the format pattern for the formatter object by calling the applyPattern() method of the DecimalFormat instance. To format the number we simply call the format() method and pass the number we are going to format for display or print out.

package org.kodejava.example.text;

import java.text.DecimalFormat;

public class NegativeNumberFormat {
    // Pattern for formatting negative number.
    public static final String PATTERN1 = "#,##0.00;(#,##0.00)";
    public static final String PATTERN2 = "$#,##0.00;-$#,##0.00";

    public static void main(String[] args) {
        DecimalFormat df = (DecimalFormat) DecimalFormat.getInstance();

        // Format using parentheses
        System.out.println("Positive: " + df.format(125));
        System.out.println("Negative: " + df.format(-125));

        // Format using currency symbol and minus sign
        System.out.println("Positive: " + df.format(1000));
        System.out.println("Negative: " + df.format(-1000));

The result of the code snippet above is:

Positive: 125.00
Negative: (125.00)
Positive: $1,000.00
Negative: -$1,000.00

If you need to parse negative numbers in parentheses to produce the represented number you can see the following example How do I parse negative number in parentheses?.


  1. Hi, your pattern is hardcoded in two points:

    Commas, whitespace, points might be different in each country or locale. You hardcode $ sign. The currency can be different for each country and the position too. Somewhere currency sign is prefix, somewhere postfix.

    Do you have other flexible solution?

    • Hi Vadim,

      You can use the following code snippet:

      import java.text.NumberFormat;
      NumberFormat nf = NumberFormat.getCurrencyInstance(new Locale("ru", "RU"));
      System.out.println("Number: " + nf.format(1250000.25));

      The output of the code:

      Number: 1 250 000,25 руб.

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