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How to use the sprintf() method in C

Educative Answers Team

Using the library function sprintf() is the easiest way to convert an integer to a string in C.

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Syntax

The function is declared in C as:

int sprintf(char *str, const char *format, [arg1, arg2, ... ]);

where,

  • str is a character array on which data is written.
  • format is a C string which describes the output, along with placeholders for the integer arguments to be inserted in the formatted string. It follows the same specifications as printf().
  • [arg1,arg2...] are the integer(s) to be converted.

Note the function’s return type is int - it returns the length of the converted string.

The following examples will make it clearer:

Examples

int main() {
  float num = 9.34;
  printf("I'm a float, look: %f\n", num);
  char output[50]; //for storing the converted string
  sprintf(output, "%f", num);
  printf("Look, I'm now a string: %s", output);
}

1. Multiple arguments can also be used:

int main() {
    char output[50]; 
    int num1 = 3, num2 = 5, ans; 
    ans = num1 * num2; 
    sprintf(output, "%d multiplied by %d is %d", num1, num2, ans);  
    printf("%s", output); 
  
    return 0; 
}

2. sprintf returns the length of the converted string, as shown below:

int main() {
  int num = 3003;
  int length;
  char output[50]; //for storing the converted string
  length = sprintf(output, "%d", num);
  printf("The converted string is %s and its length is %d.", output, length);
}

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integer
string
conversion
c
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