sscanf() — Read Data


#include <stdio.h>
int sscanf(const char *buffer, const char *format, argument-list);

Language Level




Locale Sensitive

The behavior of this function might be affected by the LC_CTYPE and LC_NUMERIC categories of the current locale. The behavior might also be affected by the LC_UNI_CTYPE category of the current locale if LOCALETYPE(*LOCALEUCS2) or LOCALETYPE(*LOCALEUTF) is specified on the compilation command. For more information, see Understanding CCSIDs and Locales.


The sscanf() function reads data from buffer into the locations that are given by argument-list. Each argument must be a pointer to a variable with a type that corresponds to a type specifier in the format-string.

Return Value

The sscanf() function returns the number of fields that were successfully converted and assigned. The return value does not include fields that were read but not assigned.

The return value is EOF when the end of the string is encountered before anything is converted.


This example uses sscanf() to read various data from the string tokenstring, and then displays that data.

#include <stdio.h>
#include <stddef.h>
int main(void)
    char    *tokenstring = "15 12 14";
    char    *string = "ABC Z";
    wchar_t  ws[81];
    wchar_t  wc;
    int   i;
    float fp;
    char  s[81];
    char  c;

    /* Input various data                                        */
    /* In the first invocation of sscanf, the format string is   */
    /* "%s %c%d%f". If there were no space between %s and %c,    */
    /* sscanf would read the first character following the       */
    /* string, which is a blank space.                           */

    sscanf(tokenstring, "%s %c%d%f", s, &c, &i, &fp);
    sscanf(string, "%ls %lc", ws,&wc);

    /* Display the data */
    printf("\nstring = %s\n",s);
    printf("character = %c\n",c);
    printf("integer = %d\n",i);
    printf("floating-point number = %f\n",fp);
    printf("wide-character string = %S\n",ws);
    printf("wide-character = %C\n",wc);

/*****************  Output should be similar to:  *****************

string = 15
character = 1
integer = 2
floating-point number = 14.000000
wide-character string = ABC
wide-character = Z


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