Formatting the Text

Special symbols

CounterText is capable of displaying the time and value of an animatable user variable, named Count. To show the time you use %s or %t and to show the value of the count varianle use %e, %f or %g symbols. Since % symbol has a special meaning you use %% to place a single % symbol. To make it clear here is a table

Symbol Replaced with
%% single % symbol
%f  value of the count variable
%e value of the count variable in engineering format
%g value of the count variable either in %f or in %e format whichever is more compact.
%s, %t current frame time (in current Max format)

Time Display (%s and %t)

Wherever you place the %s symbol, CounterText replaces it with current time. The current time (frame time) will be displayed in MAX’s Time display format. You can change MAX’s "time display format" in the "Time Configuration" dialog box. You can use use %s more than once in a single counter text if you need.

Counter Display (%f, %e and %g)

If you place %f, %e or %g in the text field, CounterText will replace it with the content of the count variable. These symbols accept some "C style" modifiers to change the appearance of the number. 

%f displays the value in 1.12300 format: suitable for small numbers. 

%e shows the value in engineering style such as 1.234e+010 which is suitable for large values. 

%g chooses the most compact form between %f and %e. One important feature of %g is that it truncates any trailing digits after the decimal symbol.

The full syntax is as follows (To get help on any part, just click it)


assuming that Count=12.123456789 the below table shows some format strings and their results

Format string

Result String

Format string

Result String


If you assign Expression controller to the CounterText’s Count variable in the track view, and enter S as the expression, you can display the time in seconds by writing %0.0f in the text body. If you enter %0.2f in the text field, this time you’ll get again the time in seconds but in 1/100sec precision.