wscanf, fwscanf, swscanf, wscanf_s, fwscanf_s, swscanf_s

< c‎ | io
File input/output

File access
Direct input/output
Unformatted input/output
Formatted input
Formatted output
File positioning
Error handling
Operations on files
Defined in header <wchar.h>
int wscanf( const wchar_t *format, ... );
(1) (since C95)
int fwscanf( FILE *stream, const wchar_t *format, ... );
(2) (since C95)
int swscanf( const wchar_t *buffer, const wchar_t *format, ... );
(3) (since C95)
int wscanf_s( const wchar_t *restrict format, ...);
(4) (since C11)
int fwscanf_s( FILE *restrict stream,
               const wchar_t *restrict format, ...);
(5) (since C11)
int swscanf_s( const wchar_t *restrict s,
               const wchar_t *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 wide string buffer. Reaching the end of the string is equivalent to reaching the end-of-file condition for fwscanf
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 %lc into a single wide character) 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, wscanf_s, fwscanf_s, and swscanf_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>.


[edit] Parameters

stream - input file stream to read from
buffer - pointer to a null-terminated wide string to read from
format - pointer to a null-terminated wide string specifying how to read the input. The format string consists of
  • non-whitespace multibyte characters except %: each such character in the format string consumes exactly one identical character from the input stream, or causes the function to fail if the next character on the stream does not compare equal.
  • whitespace characters: any single whitespace character in the format string consumes all available consecutive whitespace characters from the input (determined as if by calling isspace in a loop). Note that there is no difference between "\n", " ", "\t\t", or other whitespace in the format string.
  • 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:

Explanation Argument type
length modifier hh


h (none) l ll








% matches literal % N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
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.

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)

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)

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*
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)

matches an unsigned decimal integer.

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

matches an unsigned octal integer.

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

x, X
matches an unsigned hexadecimal integer.

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

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(C99)
e, E
f, F
g, G
matches a floating-point number.

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

long double*
matches implementation defined character sequence defining a pointer.

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


For every conversion specifier other than n, the longest sequence of input characters which does not exceed any specified field width and which either is exactly what the conversion specifier expects or is a prefix of a sequence it would expect, is what's consumed from the stream. The first character, if any, after this consumed sequence remains unread. If the consumed sequence has length zero or if the consumed sequence cannot be converted as specified above, the matching failure occurs unless end-of-file, an encoding error, or a read error prevented input from the stream, in which case it is an input failure.

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 mbrtowc() 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 <inttypes.h> (although SCNdMAX, SCNuMAX, etc is synonymous with %jd, %ju, etc).

There is a sequence point after the action of each conversion specifier; this permits storing multiple fields in the same "sink" variable.

When parsing an incomplete floating-point value that ends in the exponent with no digits, such as parsing "100er" with the conversion specifier %f, the sequence "100e" (the longest prefix of a possibly valid floating-point number) is consumed, resulting in a matching error (the consumed sequence cannot be converted to a floating-point number), with "r" remaining. Existing implementations do not follow this rule and roll back to consume only "100", leaving "er", e.g. glibc bug 1765

... - 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] Example

[edit] References

  • C11 standard (ISO/IEC 9899:2011):
  • The fwscanf function (p: 410-416)
  • The swscanf function (p: 417)
  • The wscanf function (p: 421)
  • K. The fwscanf_s function (p: 628-629)
  • K. The swscanf_s function (p: 631)
  • K. The wscanf_s function (p: 638)
  • C99 standard (ISO/IEC 9899:1999):
  • The fwscanf function (p: 356-362)
  • The swscanf function (p: 362)
  • The wscanf function (p: 366-367)

[edit] See also

reads formatted wide character input from stdin, a file stream
or a buffer using variable argument list
(function) [edit]
C++ documentation for wscanf, fwscanf, swscanf