User defined functions can be called from within a format string by using the directive ~/name/. The colon modifier, the at-sign modifier, and arbitrarily many parameters can be specified with the ~/name/ directive. name can be any arbitrary string that does not contain a "/". All of the characters in name are treated as if they were upper case. If name contains a single colon (:) or double colon (::), then everything up to but not including the first ":" or "::" is taken to be a string that names a package. Everything after the first ":" or "::" (if any) is taken to be a string that names a symbol. The function corresponding to a ~/name/ directive is obtained by looking up the symbol that has the indicated name in the indicated package. If name does not contain a ":" or "::", then the whole name string is looked up in the COMMON-LISP-USER package.
When a ~/name/ directive is encountered, the indicated function is called with four or more arguments. The first four arguments are: the output stream, the format argument corresponding to the directive, a generalized boolean that is true if the colon modifier was used, and a generalized boolean that is true if the at-sign modifier was used. The remaining arguments consist of any parameters specified with the directive. The function should print the argument appropriately. Any values returned by the function are ignored.
The three functions pprint-linear, pprint-fill, and pprint-tabular are specifically designed so that they can be called by ~/.../ (i.e., ~/pprint-linear/, ~/pprint-fill/, and ~/pprint-tabular/). In particular they take colon and at-sign arguments.