_vsprintf_p, _vsprintf_p_l, _vswprintf_p, _vswprintf_p_l

Write formatted output using a pointer to a list of arguments, with the ability to specify the order in which the arguments are used.

int _vsprintf_p(
   char *buffer,
   size_t sizeInBytes,
   const char *format,
   va_list argptr 
int _vsprintf_p_l(
   char *buffer,
   size_t sizeInBytes,
   const char *format,
   locale_t locale,
   va_list argptr 
int _vswprintf_p(
   wchar_t *buffer,
   size_t count,
   const wchar_t *format,
   va_list argptr 
int _vswprintf_p_l(
   wchar_t *buffer,
   size_t count,
   const wchar_t *format,
   locale_t locale,
   va_list argptr 


  • buffer
    Storage location for output.

  • sizeInBytes
    Size of buffer in characters.

  • count
    Maximum number of characters to store, in the UNICODE version of this function.

  • format
    Format specification.

  • argptr
    Pointer to list of arguments.

  • locale
    The locale to use.

Return Value

_vsprintf_p and _vswprintf_p 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.

These functions differ from the vsprintf_s and vswprintf_s only in that they support positional parameters. For more information, see printf_p Positional Parameters.

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

If the buffer or format parameters are NULL pointers, if count is zero, or if the format string contains invalid formatting characters, the invalid parameter handler is invoked, as described in Parameter Validation. If execution is allowed to continue, the functions return -1 and set errno to EINVAL.

Generic-Text Routine Mappings

TCHAR.H routine

_UNICODE & _MBCS not defined

_MBCS defined

_UNICODE defined











Required header

Optional headers

_vsprintf_p, _vsprintf_p_l

<stdio.h> and <stdarg.h>


_vswprintf_p, _vswprintf_p_l

<stdio.h> or <wchar.h>, and <stdarg.h>


* Required for UNIX V compatibility.

For additional compatibility information, see Compatibility in the Introduction.


// crt__vsprintf_p.c
// This program uses vsprintf_p to write to a buffer.
// The size of the buffer is determined by _vscprintf_p.

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

void example( char * format, ... )
    va_list  args;
    int      len;
    char     *buffer = NULL;

    va_start( args, format );

    // _vscprintf doesn't count the 
    // null terminating string so we add 1.
    len = _vscprintf_p( format, args ) + 1;

    // Allocate memory for our buffer
    buffer = (char*)malloc( len * sizeof(char) );
    if (buffer)
        _vsprintf_p( buffer, len, format, args );
        puts( buffer );
        free( buffer );

int main( void )
    // First example
    example( "%2$d %1$c %3$d", '<', 123, 456 );

    // Second example
    example( "%s", "This is a string" );
123 < 456
This is a string

.NET Framework Equivalent


See Also


Stream I/O

vprintf Functions

Format Specification Fields: printf and wprintf Functions

fprintf, _fprintf_l, fwprintf, _fwprintf_l

printf, _printf_l, wprintf, _wprintf_l

sprintf, _sprintf_l, swprintf, _swprintf_l, __swprintf_l

va_arg, va_end, va_start