_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.


This API cannot be used in applications that execute in the Windows Runtime. For more information, see CRT functions not supported in Universal Windows Platform apps.


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


Format-control string.

Optional parameters for the format string.

The locale to use.

Return Value

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 in argument_list (if any) is converted and output according to the corresponding format specification in format. The format argument uses the format specification syntax for printf and wprintf functions. 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. 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.


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
_tcprintf _cprintf _cprintf _cwprintf
_tcprintf_l _cprintf_l _cprintf_l _cwprintf_l


Routine Required header
_cprintf, _cprintf_l <conio.h>
_cwprintf, _cwprintf_l <conio.h>

For more compatibility information, see Compatibility.


// 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

See also

Console and Port I/O
_cscanf, _cscanf_l, _cwscanf, _cwscanf_l
fprintf, _fprintf_l, fwprintf, _fwprintf_l
printf, _printf_l, wprintf, _wprintf_l
sprintf, _sprintf_l, swprintf, _swprintf_l, __swprintf_l
vfprintf, _vfprintf_l, vfwprintf, _vfwprintf_l
_cprintf_s, _cprintf_s_l, _cwprintf_s, _cwprintf_s_l
_cprintf_p, _cprintf_p_l, _cwprintf_p, _cwprintf_p_l
Format Specification Syntax: printf and wprintf Functions