Formatting currency values

Flash Player 10.1 and later, Adobe AIR 2.0 and later

The display formats of currency values vary as much as number formats do. For example, here is how the US dollar value $123456.78 is formatted for certain locales:


Number Format

en-US (English, USA)


de-DE (German, Germany)

123.456,78 $

en-IN (English, India)

$ 1,23,456.78

Currency formatting involves all the same factors as number formatting, plus these additional factors:

  • Currency ISO code. The three letter ISO 4217 currency code for the actual locale being used, such as USD or EUR.

  • Currency symbol. The currency symbol or string for the actual locale being used, such as $ or €.

  • Negative currency format. Defines the location of the currency symbol and the negative symbol or parentheses in relation to the numeric portion of the currency amount.

  • Positive currency format. Defines the location of currency symbol relative to the numeric portion of the currency amount.

Using the CurrencyFormatter class

The CurrencyFormatter class formats numeric values into strings that contain currency strings and formatted numbers, according to the conventions of a specific locale.

When you instantiate a new CurrencyFormatter object, it sets its currency to the default currency for the given locale.

The following example shows that a CurrencyFormatter object created using a German locale assumes that currency amounts are in Euros:

var cf:CurrencyFormatter = new CurrencyFormatter( "de-DE" ); 
trace(cf.format(1234567.89)); // 1.234.567,89 EUR

In most cases, do not rely on the default currency for a locale. If the user’s default locale is not supported, then the CurrencyFormatter class assigns a fallback locale. The fallback locale can have a different default currency. In addition, you normally want the currency formats to look correct to your user, even if the amounts are not in the user’s local currency. For example, a Canadian user can want to see a German company’s prices in Euros, but formatted in the Canadian style.

The CurrencyFormatter.setCurrency() method specifies the exact currency string and currency symbol to use.

The following example shows currency amounts in Euros to users in the French part of Canada:

var cf:CurrencyFormatter = new CurrencyFormatter( "fr-CA" ); 
cf.setCurrency("EUR", "€"); 
trace(cf.format(1234567.89)); // 1.234.567,89 EUR

The setCurrency() method can also be used to reduce confusion by setting unambiguous currency symbols. For example:


By default the format() method displays a three character ISO 4217 currency code instead of the currency symbol. ISO 4217 codes are unambiguous and do not require localization. However many users prefer to see currency symbols rather than ISO codes.

The CurrencyFormatter class can help you decide which symbol a formatted currency string uses: a currency symbol, like a dollar sign or Euro sign, or a three character ISO currency string, such as USD or EUR. For example, an amount in Canadian dollars could be displayed as $200 for a user in Canada. For a user in the United States, however, it could be displayed as CAD 200. Use the method formattingWithCurrencySymbolIsSafe() to determine whether the amount’s currency symbol would be ambiguous or incorrect given the user’s locale settings.

The following example formats a value in Euros into a format for the en-US locale. Depending on the user’s locale, the output string uses either the ISO currency code or the currency symbol.

var cf:CurrencyFormatter = new CurrencyFormatter( "en-CA"); 
if (cf.formattingWithCurrencySymbolIsSafe("USD")) 
    trace(cf.format(1234567.89, true)); // $1,234,567.89 
    cf.setCurrency("USD", "$"); 
    trace(cf.format(1234567.89)); // USD1,234,567.89 

Parsing strings that contain currency values

The CurrencyFormatter class can also extract a currency amount and a currency string from an input string that conforms to locale-specific formatting requirements. The CurrencyFormatter.parse() method stores the parsed amount and currency string in a CurrencyParseResult object, as shown here:

var cf:CurrencyFormatter = new CurrencyFormatter( "en-US" ); 
var inputCurrencyString:String = "(GBP 123,56,7.890)"; 
var parseResult:CurrencyParseResult = cf.parse(inputCurrencyString); 
trace("parsed amount: " + parseResult.value); // -1234567.89 
trace("currencyString: " + parseResult.currencyString ); // GBP

The currency string portion of the input string can contain a currency symbol, a currency ISO code, and additional text characters. The positions of the currency string, the negative number indicator, and the numeric value, match the formats specified by the negativeCurrencyFormat and positiveCurrencyFormat properties. For example:

var cf:CurrencyFormatter = new CurrencyFormatter( "en-US" ); 
var inputCurrencyString:String = "Total $-123,56,7.890"; 
var parseResult:CurrencyParseResult = cf.parse(inputCurrencyString); 
trace("status: " + cf.lastOperationStatus ); // parseError 
trace("parsed amount: " + parseResult.value); // NaN 
trace("currencyString: " + parseResult.currencyString ); // 
cf.negativeCurrencyFormat = 2; 
parseResult = cf.parse(inputCurrencyString); 
trace("status: " + cf.lastOperationStatus ); // noError 
trace("parsed amount: " + parseResult.value); // -123567.89 
trace("currencyString: " + parseResult.currencyString ); // Total $                

In this example, the input string has a currency string followed by a minus sign and a number. However the default negativeCurrencyFormat value for the en-US locale specifies that the negative indicator comes first. As a result, the parse() method generates an error and the parsed value is NaN.

After it sets the negativeCurrencyFormat to 2, which specifies that the currency string comes first, the parse() method succeeds.

// Ethnio survey code removed