C Language: sscanf function(Formatted String Read)

In the C Programming Language, the sscanf function reads formatted output from an object pointed to by s.


The syntax for the sscanf function in the C Language is:

int sscanf(const char *s, const char *format, ...);

Parameters or Arguments


An array where the output will be read.


Describes the input as well as provides a placeholder to insert the formatted string. Here are a few examples:

Format Explanation Example
%d Reads an integer 10
%f Reads a floating-point number in fixed decimal format 10.500000
%.1f Reads a floating-point number with 1 digit after the decimal 10.5
%e Reads a floating-point number in exponential (scientific notation) 1.050000e+01
%g Reads a floating-point number in either fixed decimal or exponential format depending on the size of the number 10.5


The sscanf function returns the number of characters that was read and stored. If an error occurs or end-of-file is reached before any items could be read, it will return EOF.

Required Header

In the C Language, the required header for the sscanf function is:

#include <stdio.h>

Applies To

In the C Language, the sscanf function can be used in the following versions:

  • ANSI/ISO 9899-1990

stdio.h Functions