How do I escape / display percent sign in printf statement?

You have a problem displaying the % sign when you want to print a number in percentage format using the printf() method. Because the % sign is use as a prefix of format specifiers, you need to escape it if you want to display the % sign as part of the output string.

To escape the percent sign (%) you need to write it twice, like %%. It will print out a single % sign as part of your printf() method output. Let see an example in the code snippet below:

package org.kodejava.example.lang;

public class EscapePercentSignExample {
    public static void main(String[] args) {
        String format = "The current bank interest rate is %6.2f%%.%n";
        System.out.printf(format, 10f);

In the code snippet above we use the following format %6.2f%%.%n which can be explained as:

  • %6.2f format the number (10f) as six characters in width, right justified, with two places after decimal point. The f conversion character means it accept a float value.
  • %% will escape the % sign and print it as part of the output.
  • %n will print out a new line character.

When you execute the code, it will print:

The current bank interest rate is  10.00%.

Wayan Saryada

Programmer, runner, recreational diver, live in the island of Bali, Indonesia. Mostly programming in Java, creating web based application with Spring Framework, Hibernate / JPA.