C++ wprintf()

The wprintf() function in C++ is used to write a formatted wide string to stdout.

The wprintf() function is defined in <cwchar> header file.

wprintf() prototype

int wprintf( const wchar_t* format, ... );

The wprintf() function writes the wide string pointed to by format to stdout. The wide string format may contain format specifiers starting with % which are replaced by the values of variables that are passed to the wprintf() function as additional arguments.

wprintf() Parameters

  • format: A pointer to a null terminated wide string that is written to stdout. It consists of wide characters along with optional format specifiers starting with %. The format specifiers are replaced by the values of respective variables that follows format.
    The format specifier has the following parts:
    • A leading % sign
    • Flags: Optional one or more flags that modifies the conversion behavior.
      • - : Left justify the result within the field. By default it is right justified.
      • + : The sign of the result is attached to the beginning of the value, even for positive results.
      • Space: If there is no sign, a space is attached to the beginning of the result.
      • # : An alternative form of the conversion is performed.
      • 0 : It is used for integer and floating point number. Leading zeros are used to pad the numbers instead of space.
    • Width: An optional * or integer value used to specify minimum width field.
    • Precision : An optional field consisting of a . followed by * or integer or nothing to specify the precision.
    • Length : An optional length modifier that specifies the size of the argument.
    • Specifier: A conversion format specifier. The available format specifiers are as follows:
    Format specifiers
    Format Specifier Description
    % Prints %
    c Writes a single character
    s Writes a character string
    d or i Converts a signed integer to decimal representation
    o Converts an unsigned integer to octal representation
    X or x Converts an unsigned integer to hexadecimal representation
    u Converts an unsigned integer to decimal representation
    F or f Converts floating-point number to the decimal representation
    E or e Converts floating-point number to the decimal exponent notation
    A or a Converts floating-point number to the hexadecimal exponent
    G or g Converts floating-point number to either decimal or decimal exponent notation
    n Returns the number of characters written so far by this call to the function. The result is written to the value pointed to by the argument
    p Writes an implementation defined character sequence defining a pointer.

    So the general format of format specifier is:
  • … : Other additional arguments specifying the data to be printed. They occur in a sequence according to the format specifier.

wprintf() Return value

  • If successful, the wprintf() function returns number of characters written.
  • On failure it returns a negative value.

Example: How wprintf() function works?

#include <cwchar>
#include <clocale>

int main()
	wint_t x = 5;
	wchar_t name[] = L"André ";

	setlocale(LC_ALL, "en_US.UTF-8");
	wprintf(L"x = %d \n", x);
	wprintf(L"Hello %ls \n", name);

	return 0;

When you run the program, the output will be:

x = 5
Hello André
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