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The hex() function in Python is a built-in function that is used to convert an integer number into a hexadecimal string representation. Hexadecimal is a base-16 number system that uses 16 distinct symbols (0-9 and A-F) to represent values. This function is particularly useful when you want to represent integer values in a hexadecimal format, which is commonly used in various programming tasks such as memory addresses, bitwise operations, and more.

In this tutorial, we will delve into the details of the hex() function, explore its syntax, usage, and provide illustrative examples to help you understand how it works and how you can incorporate it into your Python programming.

Table of Contents

  1. Overview of hex() Function
  2. Syntax of hex()
  3. Converting Integer to Hexadecimal
  4. Handling Negative Numbers
  5. Formatting Hexadecimal Output
  6. Examples Demonstrating hex()
  • Example 1: Basic Usage
  • Example 2: Hexadecimal Formatting
  1. Conclusion

1. Overview of hex() Function

The hex() function takes an integer as an argument and returns a string representation of the integer’s hexadecimal value. This function is a part of Python’s standard library and is readily available for use without the need for any additional installations or imports.

2. Syntax of hex()

The syntax of the hex() function is straightforward:


Here, number is the integer value that you want to convert to its hexadecimal representation.

3. Converting Integer to Hexadecimal

Let’s start by exploring how to use the hex() function to convert an integer into its hexadecimal representation. To do this, simply pass the integer value as an argument to the hex() function. The function will return a string containing the hexadecimal representation of the integer.

# Converting an integer to hexadecimal
decimal_number = 255
hexadecimal_representation = hex(decimal_number)

print(hexadecimal_representation)  # Output: '0xff'

In the above example, the integer value 255 is converted to its hexadecimal representation '0xff'.

4. Handling Negative Numbers

The hex() function can also handle negative integer values. When you pass a negative integer to the function, it will return a string that starts with -0x followed by the hexadecimal representation of the absolute value of the integer.

# Converting a negative integer to hexadecimal
negative_decimal = -123
hex_representation = hex(negative_decimal)

print(hex_representation)  # Output: '-0x7b'

In this example, the negative integer -123 is converted to the hexadecimal representation '-0x7b'.

5. Formatting Hexadecimal Output

The hex() function provides a simple way to convert integers to hexadecimal strings, but sometimes you might want to customize the output. Python offers string formatting options to achieve this. You can use the format() function or f-strings to format the hexadecimal output as per your requirements.

# Formatting hexadecimal output using format()
number = 42
hex_string = format(number, 'X')  # 'X' format specifier for uppercase hex
print(hex_string)  # Output: '2A'

# Formatting hexadecimal output using f-string
number = 1234
hex_formatted = f"Hexadecimal: {number:#X}"
print(hex_formatted)  # Output: 'Hexadecimal: 0x4D2'

In the above examples, the output is formatted using the format() function and f-strings to produce uppercase hexadecimal values.

6. Examples Demonstrating hex()

Example 1: Basic Usage

# Basic usage of hex() function
decimal_value = 170
hex_value = hex(decimal_value)

print(f"Decimal: {decimal_value}, Hexadecimal: {hex_value}")


Decimal: 170, Hexadecimal: 0xaa

Example 2: Hexadecimal Formatting

# Hexadecimal formatting using hex() and format()
number = 543
hex_string = hex(number)[2:].rjust(4, '0')  # Removing '0x' and padding to 4 characters
print(f"Original: {number}, Formatted Hex: {hex_string}")


Original: 543, Formatted Hex: 021F

7. Conclusion

The hex() function is a powerful tool in Python when working with integer values and hexadecimal representations. It simplifies the process of converting integers to their hexadecimal equivalents and supports formatting options to cater to various requirements. This tutorial provided an in-depth understanding of the hex() function, its syntax, usage, and examples to help you integrate it effectively into your Python programming arsenal. By mastering the hex() function, you can confidently work with hexadecimal representations and expand your capabilities in various programming tasks.

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