GetStringScripts function

Provides a list of scripts used in the specified Unicode string.


int GetStringScripts(
  DWORD   dwFlags,
  LPCWSTR lpString,
  int     cchString,
  LPWSTR  lpScripts,
  int     cchScripts



Flags specifying options for script retrieval.

Value Meaning
Retrieve "Qaii" (INHERITED) and "Zyyy" (COMMON) script information. This flag does not affect the processing of unassigned characters. These characters in the input string always cause a "Zzzz" (UNASSIGNED script) to appear in the script string.
Note   By default, GetStringScripts ignores any inherited or common characters in the input string indicated by lpString. If GSS_ALLOW_INHERITED_COMMON is not set, neither "Qaii" nor "Zyyy" appears in the script string, even if the input string contains such characters. If GSS_ALLOW_INHERITED_COMMON is set, and if the input string contains inherited and/or common characters, "Qaii" and/or "Zyyy", respectively, appear in the script string. See the Remarks section.


Pointer to the Unicode string to analyze.


Size, in characters, of the Unicode string indicated by lpString. The application sets this parameter to -1 if the Unicode string is null-terminated. If the application sets this parameter to 0, the function retrieves a null Unicode string (L"\0") in lpScripts and returns 1.


Pointer to a buffer in which this function retrieves a null-terminated string representing a list of scripts, using the 4-character notation used in ISO 15924. Each script name consists of four Latin characters, and the names are retrieved in alphabetical order. Each name, including the last, is followed by a semicolon.

Alternatively, this parameter contains NULL if cchScripts is set to 0. In this case, the function returns the required size for the script buffer.


Size, in characters, of the script buffer indicated by lpScripts.

Alternatively, the application can set this parameter to 0. In this case, the function retrieves NULL in lpScripts and returns the required size for the script buffer.

Return Value

Returns the number of characters retrieved in the output buffer, including a terminating null character, if successful and cchScripts is set to a nonzero value. The function returns 1 to indicate that no script has been found, for example, when the input string only contains COMMON or INHERITED characters and GSS_ALLOW_INHERITED_COMMON is not set. Given that each found script adds five characters (four characters + delimiter), a simple mathematical operation provides the script count as (return_code - 1) / 5.

If the function succeeds and the value of cchScripts is 0, the function returns the required size, in characters including a terminating null character, for the script buffer. The script count is as described above.

This function returns 0 if it does not succeed. To get extended error information, the application can call GetLastError, which can return one of the following error codes:

  • ERROR_BADDB. The function could not access the data. This situation should not normally occur, and typically indicates a bad installation, a disk problem, or the like.
  • ERROR_INSUFFICIENT_BUFFER. A supplied buffer size was not large enough, or it was incorrectly set to NULL.
  • ERROR_INVALID_FLAGS. The values supplied for flags were not valid.
  • ERROR_INVALID_PARAMETER. Any of the parameter values was invalid.


This function is useful as part of a strategy to mitigate security issues related to internationalized domain names (IDNs).

The script determination is based on the script values published by the Unicode Consortium in, except that the unassigned characters have the value "Zzzz" (UNASSIGNED) instead of "Zyyy" (COMMON).

Here are some examples of the behavior of this function:

Input string dwFlags lpScripts Scripts 0 Latn; Latin GSS_ALLOW_INHERITED_COMMON Latn;Zyyy; Latin + Common
Niño 004E 0069 0241 006F GSS_ALLOW_INHERITED_COMMON Latn; Latin
Niño 004E 0069 006E 0303 006F GSS_ALLOW_INHERITED_COMMON Latn;Qaii; Latin + Inherited
Spооf 0053 0070 043e 043e 0066 0 Latn;Cyrl; Latin + Cyrillic
U+f000 0 Zzzz; Unassigned


Minimum supported client Windows Vista [desktop apps | UWP apps]
Minimum supported server Windows Server 2008 [desktop apps | UWP apps]
Target Platform Windows
Header winnls.h (include Windows.h)
Library Kernel32.lib
DLL Kernel32.dll

See Also


Handling Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs)

National Language Support

National Language Support Functions