# Formatted Output

**Print Formats
· Print Functions
· Print Conversion Specifiers
**

Several library functions help you convert data values from
encoded internal representations to text sequences that are
generally readable by people. You provide a
format string as the value of the
`format`

argument to each of these functions, hence
the term **formatted output**.
The functions fall into two categories.

The **byte print functions**
(declared in
`<stdio.h>`

)
convert internal representations to sequences of type *char,*
and help you compose such sequences for display:
fprintf,
printf,
sprintf,
vfprintf,
vprintf, and
vsprintf.
For these function, a format string is a
multibyte string
that begins and ends in the
initial shift state.

The **wide print functions**
(declared in
`<wchar.h>`

and hence added with
**Amendment 1**)
convert internal representations to sequences of type
`wchar_t`

,
and help you compose such sequences for display:
fwprintf,
swprintf,
wprintf,
vfwprintf,
vswprintf, and
vwprintf.
For these functions, a format string is a
wide-character string.
In the descriptions that follow, a wide character `wc`

from a format string or a stream is compared to a specific (byte)
character `c`

as if by evaluating the expression
`wctob(wc) == c`

.

## Print Formats

A **format string** has the same
syntax for both the print functions and the
scan functions,
as shown in the diagram.

A format string consists of zero or more
**conversion specifications**
interspersed with literal text and
**white space**.
White space is a sequence of one or more
characters `c`

for which the call
`isspace(c)`

returns nonzero.
(The characters defined as white space can change when you change the
`LC_CTYPE`

locale category.)
For the print functions, a conversion specification is one of the
print conversion specifications described below.

A print function scans the format string once from beginning
to end to determine what conversions to perform. Every print
function accepts a
varying number
of arguments, either directly or under control of an argument of type
`va_list`

.
Some print conversion specifications
in the format string use the next argument in the list.
A print function uses each successive argument no more than
once. Trailing arguments can be left unused.

In the description that follows:

**integer conversions**are the**conversion specifiers**that end in`d`

,`i`

,`o`

,`u`

,`x`

, or`X`

**floating-point conversions**are the conversion specifiers that end in`e`

,`E`

,`f`

,`F`

,`g`

, or`G`

## Print Functions

For the print functions, literal text or
white space in a format
string generates characters that match the characters in the format
string. A
**
print conversion specification** typically generates characters
by converting the next argument value to a corresponding text sequence.
A print conversion specification has the format:

** Boldface Italic** indicates a feature added after
C99.
Support for fixed-point conversions is added with
the C Technical Report TR18037.
These closely match the extensions for the Freescale
Signal Processing Engine Auxiliary Processing Unit.
This implementation
also includes, as a conforming extension, conversions for
the vectors supported by the Freescale

**AltiVec**architecture.

Following the percent character (** %**)
in the format string, you can write zero or more

**format flags**:

-- to left-justify a conversion`-`

-- to generate a plus sign for signed values that are positive`+`

-- to generate a*space*

for signed values that have neither a plus nor a minus sign*space*-- to prefix`#`

`0`

on an`o`

conversion, to prefix`0x`

on an`x`

conversion, to prefix`0X`

on an`X`

conversion, or to generate a decimal point and fraction digits that are otherwise suppressed on a floating-point conversion-- to pad a conversion with leading zeros after any sign or prefix, in the absence of a minus (`0`

`-`

) format flag or a specified precision

For AltiVec vector conversions,
you can intersperse format flags with an optional
**separator**, the characters
comma, semicolon, equal sign, or underscore. The conversion
occurs for each of the elements of the vector, and
generates a separator between each pair of elements.
If you specify no separator, the default is:

- for the
`c`

conversion specifier, no character. - for all other conversion specifications, a space character.

Following any format flags, you can write a
**field width** that
specifies the minimum number of characters to generate for the conversion.
Unless altered by a format flag,
the default behavior is to pad a short conversion
on the left with

characters.
If you write an asterisk (*space*** ***)
instead of a decimal number for a field width, then a print
function takes the value of the next argument (which must be of type

*int*) as the field width. If the argument value is negative, it supplies a

`-`

format flag
and its magnitude is the field width.Following any field width, you can write a dot (** .**)
followed by a

**precision**that specifies one of the following: the minimum number of digits to generate on an integer conversion; the number of fraction digits to generate on an

`e`

,
`E`

, or `f`

conversion;
the maximum number of significant digits to generate
on a `g`

or `G`

conversion; or the maximum number
of characters to generate from a
C string
on an `s`

conversion.If you write an ** *** instead of
a decimal number for a precision,
a print function takes the value of the next argument (which must
be of type

*int*) as the precision. If the argument value is negative, the default precision applies. If you do not write either an

`*`

or a decimal number following the dot, the precision
is zero.## Print Conversion Specifiers

Following any
precision,
you must write a one-character **print conversion specifier**,
possibly preceded by a one- or two-character qualifier.
Each combination determines the type required of the
next argument (if any) and how the library functions alter the argument
value before converting it to a text sequence.
The integer and
floating-point conversions also determine
what base to use for the text representation.
If a conversion specifier requires a precision *p* and you do
not provide one in the format, then the conversion specifier chooses
a default value for the precision.

In the descriptions that follow, array declarations for arguments are not to be taken literally. A declaration of the form:

short x[8]

is shorthand for:

struct {short x[8]; }

And a cast of the form:

(short x[8])x

is shorthand for:

*(struct {short x[8]; } *)&x

The following table lists all defined combinations and their properties:

ConversionArgumentConvertedDefault Pre-SpecifierTypeValueBasecision%c int x (unsigned char)x %lc wint_t x (wchar_t)x %d int x (int)x 10 1 %hd int x (short)x 10 1 %ld long x (long)x 10 1 %e double x (double)x 10 6 %Le long double x (long double)x 10 6 %E double x (double)x 10 6 %LE long double x (long double)x 10 6 %f double x (double)x 10 6 %Lf long double x (long double)x 10 6 %g double x (double)x 10 6 %Lg long double x (long double)x 10 6 %G double x (double)x 10 6 %LG long double x (long double)x 10 6 %i int x (int)x 10 1 %hi int x (short)x 10 1 %li long x (long)x 10 1 %n int *x %hn short *x %ln long *x %o int x (unsigned int)x 8 1 %ho int x (unsigned short)x 8 1 %lo long x (unsigned long)x 8 1 %p void *x (void *)x %s const char *x (const char *)xlarge%ls const wchar_t *x (const wchar_t *)xlarge%u int x (unsigned int)x 10 1 %hu int x (unsigned short)x 10 1 %lu long x (unsigned long)x 10 1 %x int x (unsigned int)x 16 1 %hx int x (unsigned short)x 16 1 %lx long x (unsigned long)x 16 1 %X int x (unsigned int)x 16 1 %hX int x (unsigned short)x 16 1 %lX long x (unsigned long)x 16 1 %%none(char)'%'

The print conversion specifier determines any behavior not summarized in this table. For all floating-point conversions:

- Positive infinity prints as
`inf`

or`INF`

. - Negative infinity prints as
`-inf`

or`-INF`

. - Not-a-number (NaN) prints as
`nan`

or`NAN`

.

The upper-case version prints only for an upper-case conversion specifier,
such as `%E`

but not `%Lg`

.

In the following descriptions, *p* is the precision.
Examples follow each of the print conversion specifiers.
A single conversion can generate up to 509 characters.

You write ** %c**
to generate a single character from the converted
value.

printf("%c", 'a')generates aprintf("<%3c|%-3c>", 'a', 'b')generates < a|b >

For a
wide stream,
conversion of the character `x`

occurs as if by calling
`btowc(x)`

.

wprintf(L"%c", 'a')generates btowc(a)

You write ** %lc**
to generate a single character from the converted value.
Conversion of the character

`x`

occurs as if
it is followed by a null character in an array of two elements of type
`wchar_t`

converted by the conversion specification
`ls`

.printf("%lc", L'a')generates awprintf(L"lc", L'a')generates L'a'

You write ** %d**,

**,**

`%i`

**,**

`%o`

**,**

`%u`

**, or**

`%x`

**to generate a possibly signed integer representation.**

`%X`

`%d`

or `%i`

specifies signed decimal representation, `%o`

unsigned octal, `%u`

unsigned decimal,
`%x`

unsigned hexadecimal using the digits `0-9`

and `a-f`

, and `%X`

unsigned
hexadecimal using the digits `0-9`

and `A-F`

.
The conversion generates at least *p*digits to represent the converted value. If

*p*is zero, a converted value of zero generates no digits.

printf("%d %o %x", 31, 31, 31)generates 31 37 1fprintf("%hu", 0xffff)generates 65535printf("%#X %+d", 31, 31)generates 0X1F +31

You write ** %e** or

**to generate a signed decimal fractional representation with a decimal power-of-ten exponent. The generated text takes the form**

`%E`

*±d.dddE±dd,*where

*±*is either a plus or minus sign,

*d*is a decimal digit, the decimal point (

*.*) is the decimal point for the current locale, and

*E*is either

`e`

(for `%e`

conversion)
or `E`

(for `%E`

conversion).
The generated text has one integer digit,
a decimal point if *p*is nonzero or if you specify the

`#`

format flag, *p*fraction digits, and at least two exponent digits. The result is rounded. The value zero has a zero exponent.

printf("%e", 31.4)generates 3.140000e+01printf("%.2E", 31.4)generates 3.14E+01

You write ** %f**
to generate a signed decimal fractional representation
with no exponent. The generated text takes the form

*±d.ddd,*where

*±*is either a plus or minus sign,

*d*is a decimal digit, and the decimal point (

*.*) is the decimal point for the current locale. The generated text has at least one integer digit, a decimal point if

*p*is nonzero or if you specify the

`#`

format flag, and *p*fraction digits. The result is rounded.

printf("%f", 31.4)generates 31.400000printf("%.0f %#.0f", 31.0, 31.0)generates 31 31.

You write ** %g** or

**to generate a signed decimal fractional representation with or without a decimal power-of-ten exponent, as appropriate. For**

`%G`

`%g`

conversion, the generated text
takes the same form as either `%e`

or `%f`

conversion. For `%G`

conversion,
it takes the same form as either
`%E`

or
`%f`

conversion.
The precision *p*specifies the number of significant digits generated. (If

*p*is zero, it is changed to 1.) If

`%e`

conversion would yield an exponent in the range
[-4, *p*), then

`%f`

conversion occurs instead.
The generated text has no trailing zeros
in any fraction and has a decimal point
only if there are nonzero fraction digits, unless you specify the
`#`

format flag.printf("%.6g", 31.4)generates 31.4printf("%.1g", 31.4)generates 3.14e+01

You write ** %n**
to store the number of characters generated
(up to this point in the format) in an integer object
whose address is the value of the next successive argument.

printf("abc%n", &x)stores 3

You write ** %p**
to generate an external representation of a

*pointer to void.*The conversion is implementation defined.

printf("%p", (void *)&x)generates, e.g. F4C0

You write ** %s**
to generate a sequence of characters from
the values stored in the argument
C string.

printf("%s", "hello")generates helloprintf("%.2s", "hello")generates he

For a
wide stream, conversion
occurs as if by repeatedly calling
`mbrtowc`

,
beginning in the
initial conversion state.
The conversion generates no more than *p* characters,
up to but not including the terminating null character.

wprintf(L"%s", "hello")generates hello

You write ** %ls**
to generate a sequence of characters from
the values stored in the argument
wide-character string.
For a byte stream,
conversion occurs as if by repeatedly calling

`wcrtomb`

, beginning in the
initial conversion state,
so long as complete multibyte characters can be generated.
The conversion generates no more than
*p*characters, up to but not including the terminating null character.

printf("%ls", L"hello")generates hellowprintf(L"%.2s", L"hello")generates he

You write ** %%** to generate
the percent character (

`%`

).printf("%%")generates %

See also the
**Table of Contents** and the
**Index**.

*
Copyright © 1992-2006
by P.J. Plauger and Jim Brodie. All rights reserved.*

Last modified: 2013-12-21