Problem: &FORMAT directive value greater than 4 causes errors in PROJECT command output


Setting the value for &FORMAT to a value greater than 4 causes errors when the coverage, grid or TIN is projected with the PROJECT command or when the coordinate system is defined with the PROJECTDEFINE command.


This issue is a known limit in ArcInfo Workstation.

The &FORMAT directive sets the number of decimal places or precision of real numbers such as coordinates, tolerances and distances displayed by ArcInfo Workstation. The default value for &FORMAT = 3.

Numeric values are displayed to three decimal places:

[O-Image] Display of default &FORMAT value

The maximum field length for projection parameters such as 1st Standard Parallel, 2nd Standard Parallel, Central Meridian and Latitude of Origin is 13 characters.

If &FORMAT is set to a value greater than 4, the values in these projection parameters are converted to a string of asterisks.
[O-Image] &FORMAT value = 5
When the coverage is projected, coordinates cannot be recalculated on the string of asterisks, and the projection process produces an invalid output.

For example, note the input projection parameters:
[O-Image] Input for PROJECT command

Solution or Workaround

Reset the &FORMAT value to either 3 or 4:

Arc: &format 3