_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.

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


  • format
    Format-control string.

  • argument
    Optional parameters.

  • locale
    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 (if any) is converted and output according to the corresponding format specification in format. The format has the same form and function as the format parameter for the printf function. 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 NT. 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.

Security noteSecurity Note

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











Required header

_cprintf, _cprintf_l


_cwprintf, _cwprintf_l


For more compatibility information, see Compatibility in the Introduction.


// 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

.NET Framework Equivalent

Not applicable. To call the standard C function, use PInvoke. For more information, see Platform Invoke Examples.

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 Fields: printf and wprintf Functions