I've been trying to write an algorithm that will separate the digits in an integer and print them. I have to write it in Pseudocode. I know how to write an algorithm that reverse the digits.

  while n != 0:
    x = n % 10 
    n = n // 10 
    print (x)

But I don't know how to write an algorithm to print the digits in the correct order.
For example:

  • The input is integer 123467
  • The output should be: 1 2 3 4 6 7.

The numbers will be an input from the user and we are not allowed to convert them to a string.

I need help getting started on writing this algorithm.

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    – rwong
    Commented Mar 2 at 20:16

4 Answers 4


log n will give you the number of (decimal) digits in n.

Notice that 1234 / (10^[4-1]) = 1.234 which rounds down to 1. Repeat as necessary (mod 10) to print each digit.

  • 1.234 -> 1
  • 12.34 % 10 -> 2.34 -> 2
  • 123.4 % 10 -> 3.4 -> 3
  • 1234 % 10 -> 4
  • You can use something similar to elegantly implement a radix sort for all possible bases.
    – user28988
    Commented Oct 23, 2012 at 20:20
  • 3
    The problem with this solution is to properly cover edge cases. Logarithm is floating-point number (which are tricky themselves), not to mention, 10-based logarithm is not natural (natural is e-based one), so some more error can accumulate. Which can leads to situations, where log n will be off by one. So you should not blindly believe it, but test the edge case. Also, if you know you have an integer, it is safer (again, floating point, unsafe edge cases) to do things like (1234 - 1234 % (10 ^ [4-1])/(10 ^ [4-1])) to eschew the floating point.
    – herby
    Commented Oct 24, 2012 at 8:20
  • There are no cases where "log n will be off by one", provided you do the research properly: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Logarithm#Number_theory. Why is it necessarily safer to do purely integer operations? Can you give some examples? You have made a fair few of assertions (non-natural logs cause errors, log n is off by one, floats are bad) with nothing to back them up.
    – Jay
    Commented Oct 24, 2012 at 19:40
  • @Jay: I don't see how that chapter explains why would the approximation used to calculate log(n) have to be strictly biased towards higher values (it is unlikely to be so unprecise to give error more than 1 for 10<sup><i>n</i></sup> - 1 for n ≤ 32).
    – Jan Hudec
    Commented Jan 16, 2013 at 8:15

Recursive method

function print_straightforward
  print N
  print N%10

If you already have an algorithm to print them in reverse put them in a stack and then print the stack which will reverse the order.


The usual algorithm is to write a recursive function which recurses with n/10 and then prints n%10. Extra credit for correctly handling negative numbers.

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