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scanf, fscanf, sscanf, scanf_s, fscanf_s, sscanf_s

From cppreference.com
< c‎ | io
 
 
File input/output


Functions
File access
Direct input/output
Unformatted input/output
(C95)(C95)
(C95)
(C95)(C95)
(C95)
(C95)
Formatted input
scanffscanfsscanfscanf_sfscanf_ssscanf_s
(C11)(C11)(C11)
Formatted output
File positioning
Error handling
Operations on files
 

Defined in header <stdio.h>
(1)
int scanf( const char          *format, ... );
(until C99)
int scanf( const char *restrict format, ... );
(since C99)
(2)
int fscanf( FILE          *stream, const char          *format, ... );
(until C99)
int fscanf( FILE *restrict stream, const char *restrict format, ... );
(since C99)
(3)
int sscanf( const char          *buffer, const char          *format, ... );
(until C99)
int sscanf( const char *restrict buffer, const char *restrict format, ... );
(since C99)
int scanf_s(const char *restrict format, ...);
(4) (since C11)
int fscanf_s(FILE *restrict stream, const char *restrict format, ...);
(5) (since C11)
int sscanf_s(const char *restrict buffer, const char *restrict format, ...);
(6) (since C11)

Reads data from the a variety of sources, interprets it according to format and stores the results into given locations.

1) reads the data from stdin
2) reads the data from file stream stream
3) reads the data from null-terminated character string buffer. Reaching the end of the string is equivalent to reaching the end-of-file condition for fscanf
4-6) Same as (1-3), except that %c, %s, and %[ conversion specifiers each expect two arguments (the usual pointer and a value of type rsize_t indicating the size of the receiving array, which may be 1 when reading with a %c into a single char) and except that the following errors are detected at runtime and call the currently installed constraint handler function:
  • any of the arguments of pointer type is a null pointer
  • format, stream, or buffer is a null pointer
  • the number of characters that would be written by %c, %s, or %[, plus the terminating null character, would exceed the second (rsize_t) argument provided for each of those conversion specifiers
  • optionally, any other detectable error, such as unknown conversion specifier
As all bounds-checked functions, scanf_s, fscanf_s, and sscanf_s are only guaranteed to be available if __STDC_LIB_EXT1__ is defined by the implementation and if the user defines __STDC_WANT_LIB_EXT1__ to the integer constant 1 before including <stdio.h>.

Contents

[edit] Parameters

stream - input file stream to read from
buffer - pointer to a null-terminated character string to read from
format - pointer to a null-terminated character string specifying how to read the input.

The format string consists of whitespace characters (any single whitespace character in the format string consumes all available consecutive whitespace characters from the input), non-whitespace multibyte characters except % (each such character in the format string consumes exactly one identical character from the input) and conversion specifications. Each conversion specification has the following format:

  • introductory % character
  • (optional) assignment-suppressing character *. If this option is present, the function does not assign the result of the conversion to any receiving argument.
  • (optional) integer number (greater than zero) that specifies maximum field width, that is, the maximum number of characters that the function is allowed to consume when doing the conversion specified by the current conversion specification. Note that %s and %[ may lead to buffer overflow if the width is not provided.
  • (optional) length modifier that specifies the size of the receiving argument, that is, the actual destination type. This affects the conversion accuracy and overflow rules. The default destination type is different for each conversion type (see table below).
  • conversion format specifier

The following format specifiers are available:

Conversion
specifier
Explanation Argument type
length modifier hh h (none) l ll j z t L
% matches literal % N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
c
matches a character or a sequence of characters

If a width specifier is used, matches exactly width characters (the argument must be a pointer to an array with sufficient room). Unlike %s and %[, does not append the null character to the array.

N/A N/A
char*
wchar_t*
N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
s
matches a sequence of non-whitespace characters (a string)

If width specifier is used, matches up to width or until the first whitespace character, whichever appears first. Always stores a null character in addition to the characters matched (so the argument array must have room for at least width+1 characters)

[set]
matches a non-empty sequence of character from set of characters.

If the first character of the set is ^, then all characters not in the set are matched. If the set begins with ] or ^] then the ] character is also included into the set. It is implementation-defined whether the character - in the non-initial position in the scanset may be indicating a range, as in [0-9]. If width specifier is used, matches only up to width. Always stores a null character in addition to the characters matched (so the argument array must have room for at least width+1 characters)

d
matches a decimal integer.

The format of the number is the same as expected by strtol() with the value 10 for the base argument

signed char* or unsigned char*
signed short* or unsigned short*
signed int* or unsigned int*
signed long* or unsigned long*
signed long long* or unsigned long long*
N/A
i
matches an integer.

The format of the number is the same as expected by strtol() with the value 0 for the base argument (base is determined by the first characters parsed)

u
matches a unsigned integer.

The format of the number is the same as expected by strtoul() with the value 0 for the base argument (base is determined by the first characters parsed)

o
matches an octal integer.

The format of the number is the same as expected by strtoul() with the value 8 for the base argument

x
matches an hexadecimal integer.

The format of the number is the same as expected by strtoul() with the value 16 for the base argument

n
returns the number of characters read so far.

No input is consumed. Does not increment the assignment count. If the specifier has assignment-suppressing operator defined, the behavior is undefined

a, A
e, E
f, F
g, G
matches a floating-point number.

The format of the number is the same as expected by strtof()

N/A N/A
float*
double*
N/A N/A N/A N/A
long double*
p
matches implementation defined character sequence defining a pointer.

printf family of functions should produce the same sequence using %p format specifier

N/A N/A
void**
N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A

All conversion specifiers other than [, c, and n consume and discard all leading whitespace characters (determined as if by calling isspace) before attempting to parse the input. These consumed characters do not count towards the specified maximum field width.

The conversion specifiers lc, ls, and l[ perform multibyte-to-wide character conversion as if by calling wcrtomb() with an mbstate_t object initialized to zero before the first character is converted.

The conversion specifiers s and [ always store the null terminator in addition to the matched characters. The size of the destination array must be at least one greater than the specified field width.

The correct conversion specifications for the fixed-width integer types (int8_t, etc) are defined in the header <cinttypes>(C++) or <inttypes.h> (C) (although SCNdMAX, SCNuMAX, etc is synonymous with %jd, %ju, etc).


... - receiving arguments

[edit] Return value

1-3) Number of receiving arguments successfully assigned, or EOF if read failure occurs before the first receiving argument was assigned.
4-6) Same as (1-3), except that EOF is also returned if there is a runtime constraint violation.

[edit] Notes

Because most conversion specifiers first consume all consecutive whitespace, code such as

scanf("%d", &a);
scanf("%d", &b);

will read two integers that are entered on different lines (second %d will consume the newline left over by the first) or on the same line, separated by spaces or tabs (second %d will consume the spaces or tabs).

The conversion specifiers that do not consume leading whitespace, such as %c, can be made to do so by using a whitespace character in the format string:
scanf("%d", &a);
scanf(" %c", &c); // ignore the endline after %d, then read a char

[edit] Example

#define __STDC_WANT_LIB_EXT1__ 1
#include <stdio.h>
#include <stddef.h>
#include <locale.h>
 
int main(void)
{
    int i, j;
    float x, y;
    char str1[10], str2[4];
    wchar_t warr[2];
    setlocale(LC_ALL, "en_US.utf8");
 
    char input[] = "25 54.32E-1 Thompson 56789 0123 56ß水";
    /* parse as follows:
       %d: an integer
       %f: a floating-point value
       %9s: a string of at most 9 non-whitespace characters
       %2d: two-digit integer (digits 5 and 6)
       %f:  a floating-point value (digits 7, 8, 9)
       %*d: an integer which isn't stored anywhere
       ' ': all consecutive whitespace
       %3[0-9]: a string of at most 3 decimal digits (digits 5 and 6)
       %2lc: two wide characters, using multibyte to wide conversion  */
    int ret = sscanf(input, "%d%f%9s%2d%f%*d %3[0-9]%2lc",
                     &i, &x, str1, &j, &y, str2, warr);
 
    printf("Converted %d fields:\ni = %d\nx = %f\nstr1 = %s\n"
           "j = %d\ny = %f\nstr2 = %s\n"
           "warr[0] = U+%x warr[1] = U+%x\n",
           ret, i, x, str1, j, y, str2, warr[0], warr[1]);
 
#ifdef __STDC_LIB_EXT1__
    int n = sscanf_s(input, "%d%f%s", &i, &x, str1, (rsize_t)sizeof str1);
    // writes 25 to i, 5.432 to x, the 9 bytes "thompson\0" to str1, and 3 to n.
#endif
}

Output:

Converted 7 fields:
i = 25
x = 5.432000
str1 = Thompson
j = 56
y = 789.000000
str2 = 56
warr[0] = U+df warr[1] = U+6c34

[edit] References

  • C11 standard (ISO/IEC 9899:2011):
  • 7.21.6.2 The fscanf function (p: 317-324)
  • 7.21.6.4 The scanf function (p: 325)
  • 7.21.6.7 The sscanf function (p: 326)
  • K.3.5.3.2 The fscanf_s function (p: 592-593)
  • K.3.5.3.4 The scanf_s function (p: 594)
  • K.3.5.3.7 The sscanf_s function (p: 596)
  • C99 standard (ISO/IEC 9899:1999):
  • 7.19.6.2 The fscanf function (p: 282-289)
  • 7.19.6.4 The scanf function (p: 290)
  • 7.19.6.7 The sscanf function (p: 291)
  • C89/C90 standard (ISO/IEC 9899:1990):

[edit] See also

reads formatted input from stdin, a file stream or a buffer
using variable argument list
(function) [edit]
gets a character string from a file stream
(function) [edit]
prints formatted output to stdout, a file stream or a buffer
(function) [edit]
C++ documentation for scanf, fscanf, sscanf