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_cprintf, _cprintf_l, _cwprintf, _cwprintf_l

Formats and prints to the console. More secure versions are available; see _cprintf_s, _cprintf_s_l, _cwprintf_s, _cwprintf_s_l.

Important note Important

This API cannot be used in applications that execute in the Windows Runtime. For more information, see CRT functions not supported with /ZW.

int _cprintf( 
   const char * format [, 
   argument] ... 
int _cprintf_l( 
   const char * format,
   locale_t locale [,
   argument] … 
int _cwprintf(
   const wchar * format [, 
   argument] …
int _cwprintf_l(
   const wchar * format,
   locale_t locale [, 
   argument] …


Format-control string.


Optional parameters.


The locale to use.

The number of characters printed.

These functions format and print a series of characters and values directly to the console, using the _putch function (_putwch for _cwprintf) to output characters. Each argument (if any) is converted and output according to the corresponding format specification in format. The format has the same form and function as the format parameter for the printf function. Unlike the fprintf, printf, and sprintf functions, neither _cprintf nor _cwprintf translates line-feed characters into carriage return–line feed (CR-LF) combinations when output.

An important distinction is that _cwprintf displays Unicode characters when used in Windows NT. Unlike _cprintf, _cwprintf uses the current console locale settings.

The versions of these functions with the _l suffix are identical except that they use the locale parameter passed in instead of the current locale.

_cprintf validates the format parameter. If format is a null pointer, the function invokes the invalid parameter handler, as described in Parameter Validation. If execution is allowed to continue, the function returns -1 and sets errno to EINVAL.

Security note Security Note

Ensure that format is not a user-defined string.

Generic-Text Routine Mappings

Tchar.h routine

_UNICODE and _MBCS not defined

_MBCS defined

_UNICODE defined










Required header

_cprintf ,_cprintf_l


_cwprintf , _cwprintf_l


For more compatibility information, see Compatibility in the Introduction.

// crt_cprintf.c
// compile with: /c
// This program displays some variables to the console.

#include <conio.h>

int main( void )
    int         i = -16,
                h = 29;
    unsigned    u = 62511;
    char        c = 'A';
    char        s[] = "Test";

    // Note that console output does not translate \n as
    // standard output does. Use \r\n instead.
    _cprintf( "%d  %.4x  %u  %c %s\r\n", i, h, u, c, s );
-16  001d  62511  A Test

Not applicable. To call the standard C function, use PInvoke. For more information, see Platform Invoke Examples.