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vsprintf, vswprintf

Write formatted output using a pointer to a list of arguments.

int vsprintf(
   char *buffer,
   const char *format,
   va_list argptr 
int vswprintf(
   wchar_t *buffer,
   const wchar_t *format,
   va_list argptr 
int vswprintf(
   wchar_t *buffer,
   size_t count,
   const wchar_t *format,
   va_list argptr 
); //  (C++ only)


Storage location for output.
Maximum number of characters to store
Format specification.
Pointer to list of arguments.

Return Value

vsprintf and vswprintf return the number of characters written, not including the terminating null character, or a negative value if an output error occurs.


Each of these functions takes a pointer to an argument list, and then formats and writes the given data to the memory pointed to by buffer.

Security Note   There is no way to limit the number of characters written, which means that code using these functions is susceptible to buffer overruns. Use _vsnprintf instead, or call _vscprintf to determine how large a buffer is needed. Also, ensure that format is not a user-defined string. For more information, see Avoiding Buffer Overruns.

Generic-Text Routine Mappings

TCHAR.H routine _UNICODE & _MBCS not defined _MBCS defined _UNICODE defined
_vstprintf vsprintf vsprintf vswprintf


Routine Required header Optional headers Compatibility
vsprintf <stdio.h> and <stdarg.h> <varargs.h>* ANSI, Win 98, Win Me, Win NT, Win 2000, Win XP
vswprintf <stdio.h> or <wchar.h>, and <stdarg.h> <varargs.h>* ANSI, Win 98, Win Me, Win NT, Win 2000, Win XP

* Required for UNIX V compatibility.

For additional compatibility information, see Compatibility in the Introduction.


All versions of the C run-time libraries.


// crt_vsprintf.c
// This program uses vsprintf to write to a buffer.
// The size of the buffer is determined by _vscprintf.

#include <stdlib.h>
#include <stdarg.h>

void test( char * format, ... )
   va_list args;
   int len;
   char * buffer;

   va_start( args, format );
   len = _vscprintf( format, args ) // _vscprintf doesn't count
                               + 1; // terminating '\0'
   buffer = malloc( len * sizeof(char) );
   vsprintf( buffer, format, args );
   printf( buffer );
   free( buffer );

int main( void )
   test( "%d %c %d\n", 123, '<', 456 );
   test( "%s\n", "This is a string" );


123 < 456
This is a string

See Also

Stream I/O Routines | vprintf Functions Overview | Format Specification Fields: printf and wprintf Functions | fprintf | printf | sprintf | va_arg | Run-Time Routines and .NET Framework Equivalents