Converts a double number to a string. A more secure version of this function is available; see _ecvt_s.

char *_ecvt( 
   double value,
   int count,
   int *dec,
   int *sign 


Number to be converted.


Number of digits stored.


Stored decimal-point position.


Sign of the converted number.

_ecvt returns a pointer to the string of digits; NULL if an error occurred.

The _ecvt function converts a floating-point number to a character string. The value parameter is the floating-point number to be converted. This function stores up to count digits of value as a string and appends a null character ('\0'). If the number of digits in value exceeds count, the low-order digit is rounded. If there are fewer than count digits, the string is padded with zeros.

The total number of digits returned by _ecvt will not exceed _CVTBUFSIZE.

Only digits are stored in the string. The position of the decimal point and the sign of value can be obtained from dec and sign after the call. The dec parameter points to an integer value giving the position of the decimal point with respect to the beginning of the string. A 0 or negative integer value indicates that the decimal point lies to the left of the first digit. The sign parameter points to an integer that indicates the sign of the converted number. If the integer value is 0, the number is positive. Otherwise, the number is negative.

The difference between _ecvt and _fcvt is in the interpretation of the count parameter. _ecvt interprets count as the total number of digits in the output string, whereas _fcvt interprets count as the number of digits after the decimal point.

_ecvt and _fcvt use a single statically allocated buffer for the conversion. Each call to one of these routines destroys the result of the previous call.

This function validates its parameters. If dec or sign is NULL, or count is 0, the invalid parameter handler is invoked, as described in Parameter Validation. If execution is allowed to continue, errno is set to EINVAL and NULL is returned.


Required header



For more compatibility information, see Compatibility in the Introduction.

// crt_ecvt.c
// compile with: /W3
// This program uses _ecvt to convert a
// floating-point number to a character string.

#include <stdlib.h>
#include <stdio.h>

int main( void )
   int     decimal,   sign;
   char    *buffer;
   int     precision = 10;
   double  source = 3.1415926535;

   buffer = _ecvt( source, precision, &decimal, &sign ); // C4996
   // Note: _ecvt is deprecated; consider using _ecvt_s instead
   printf( "source: %2.10f   buffer: '%s'  decimal: %d  sign: %d\n",
           source, buffer, decimal, sign );
source: 3.1415926535   buffer: '3141592654'  decimal: 1  sign: 0

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