C scanf()

The scanf() function is defined in the stdio.h header file. It helps to input the data. It reads formatted input from stdin stream.

int scanf(const char *format, ...); #where format can be a integer, character, string, float


scanf() Parameters: 

The scanf() function takes a format string as a parameter. It can contain whitespace character, Non-whitespace character and Format specifiers.A format specifier will be like [=%[*][width][modifiers]cype=]. 

* -  it indicates that the data is to be read from the stream but ignored.

width - It specifies the maximum number of characters to be read in the current reading operation.

modifiers - int, unsigned int, or float for the data pointed by the corresponding additional argument: h: short int, or unsigned short int,l: long int, or unsigned long int, or double L: long double.

type - A character specifying the type of data to be read and how it is expected to be read.


Parameter Description Required / Optional
format the string that contains the text to be written to the stdout stream Required
additional arguments containing one value to be inserted instead of each %-tag specified in the format parameter Optional

scanf() Return Value

The return value of scanf() function is a total number of reading characters in success and an EOF on failure.

Input Return Value
If successful, total number of characters
If reading error or EOF reached EOF is returned

Examples of scanf()

Example 1: Working of scanf() function in C?

#include <stdio.h>

int main()

   char st1[25], st2[25];

   printf("Enter Place: ");
   scanf("%s", st1);

   printf("Enter your name: ");
   scanf("%s", st2);

   printf("Entered Place is: %s\n", st1);
   printf("Entered Name is:%s", st2);


Enter Place:London
Enter your name:Albert
Entered Place is:London
Entered Name is:Albert

Example 2: How scanf() works in C?

#include <stdio.h>

int main (){
    int x; 
    printf("Enter the value of x:");
 scanf("%d", &x); 
 printf("The value of x is: %d", x); 
 return 0; 


Enter the value of x: 12
The value of x is: 12