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MBSTOWCS(3)                         Linux Programmer's Manual                         MBSTOWCS(3)

       mbstowcs - convert a multibyte string to a wide-character string

       #include <stdlib.h>

       size_t mbstowcs(wchar_t *dest, const char *src, size_t n);

       If  dest is not NULL, the mbstowcs() function converts the multibyte string src to a wide-
       character string starting at dest.  At most n wide characters are written  to  dest.   The
       conversion starts in the initial state.  The conversion can stop for three reasons:

       1. An  invalid  multibyte  sequence  has  been  encountered.  In this case, (size_t) -1 is

       2. n non-L'\0' wide characters have been stored at dest.  In this case, the number of wide
          characters written to dest is returned, but the shift state at this point is lost.

       3. The multibyte string has been completely converted, including the terminating null wide
          character ('\0').  In this case, the number of wide characters written to dest, exclud‐
          ing the terminating null wide character, is returned.

       The programmer must ensure that there is room for at least n wide characters at dest.

       If  dest is NULL, n is ignored, and the conversion proceeds as above, except that the con‐
       verted wide characters are not written out to memory, and that no length limit exists.

       In order to avoid the case 2 above, the programmer should make sure n is greater  than  or
       equal to mbstowcs(NULL,src,0)+1.

       The  mbstowcs()  function returns the number of wide characters that make up the converted
       part of the wide-character string, not including the terminating null wide character.   If
       an invalid multibyte sequence was encountered, (size_t) -1 is returned.


       The behavior of mbstowcs() depends on the LC_CTYPE category of the current locale.

       The function mbsrtowcs(3) provides a better interface to the same functionality.

       The program below illustrates the use of mbstowcs(), as well as some of the wide character
       classification functions.  An example run is the following:

           $ ./t_mbstowcs de_DE.UTF-8 Grüße!
           Length of source string (excluding terminator):
               8 bytes
               6 multibyte characters

           Wide character string is: Grüße! (6 characters)
               G alpha upper
               r alpha lower
               ü alpha lower
               ß alpha lower
               e alpha lower
               ! !alpha

   Program source
       #include <locale.h>
       #include <wchar.h>
       #include <stdio.h>
       #include <string.h>
       #include <stdlib.h>

       main(int argc, char *argv[])
           size_t mbslen;      /* Number of multibyte characters in source */
           wchar_t *wcs;       /* Pointer to converted wide character string */
           wchar_t *wp;

           if (argc < 3) {
               fprintf(stderr, "Usage: %s <locale> <string>\n", argv[0]);

           /* Apply the specified locale */

           if (setlocale(LC_ALL, argv[1]) == NULL) {

           /* Calculate the length required to hold argv[2] converted to
              a wide character string */

           mbslen = mbstowcs(NULL, argv[2], 0);
           if (mbslen == (size_t) -1) {

           /* Describe the source string to the user */

           printf("Length of source string (excluding terminator):\n");
           printf("    %zu bytes\n", strlen(argv[2]));
           printf("    %zu multibyte characters\n\n", mbslen);

           /* Allocate wide character string of the desired size.  Add 1
              to allow for terminating null wide character (L'\0'). */

           wcs = calloc(mbslen + 1, sizeof(wchar_t));
           if (wcs == NULL) {

           /* Convert the multibyte character string in argv[2] to a
              wide character string */

           if (mbstowcs(wcs, argv[2], mbslen + 1) == (size_t) -1) {

           printf("Wide character string is: %ls (%zu characters)\n",
                   wcs, mbslen);

           /* Now do some inspection of the classes of the characters in
              the wide character string */

           for (wp = wcs; *wp != 0; wp++) {
               printf("    %lc ", (wint_t) *wp);

               if (!iswalpha(*wp))
               printf("alpha ");

               if (iswalpha(*wp)) {
                   if (iswupper(*wp))
                       printf("upper ");

                   if (iswlower(*wp))
                       printf("lower ");



       mblen(3), mbsrtowcs(3), mbtowc(3), wctomb(3), wcstombs(3)

       This page is part of release 3.74 of the Linux man-pages project.  A  description  of  the
       project,  information  about  reporting  bugs, and the latest version of this page, can be
       found at http://www.kernel.org/doc/man-pages/.

GNU                                         2014-03-18                                MBSTOWCS(3)

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