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Printf format string


CharacterDescription
%Prints a literal '%' character (this type doesn't accept any flags, width, precision, length fields).
diint as a signed decimal number. '%d' and '%i' are synonymous for output, but are different when used with scanf() for input (where using %i will interpret a number as hexadecimal if it's preceded by 0x, and octal if it's preceded by 0.)
uPrint decimal unsigned int.
fFdouble in normal (fixed-point) notation. 'f' and 'F' only differs in how the strings for an infinite number or NaN are printed ('inf', 'infinity' and 'nan' for 'f', 'INF', 'INFINITY' and 'NAN' for 'F').
eEdouble value in standard form ([-]d.ddd e[+/-]ddd). An E conversion uses the letter E (rather than e) to introduce the exponent. The exponent always contains at least two digits; if the value is zero, the exponent is 00. In Windows, the exponent contains three digits by default, e.g. 1.5e002, but this can be altered by Microsoft-specific _set_output_format function.
gGdouble in either normal or exponential notation, whichever is more appropriate for its magnitude. 'g' uses lower-case letters, 'G' uses upper-case letters. This type differs slightly from fixed-point notation in that insignificant zeroes to the right of the decimal point are not included. Also, the decimal point is not included on whole numbers.
xXunsigned int as a hexadecimal number. 'x' uses lower-case letters and 'X' uses upper-case.
ounsigned int in octal.
snull-terminated string.
cchar (character).
pvoid * (pointer to void) in an implementation-defined format.
aAdouble in hexadecimal notation, starting with "0x" or "0X". 'a' uses lower-case letters, 'A' uses upper-case letters.[11][12] (C++11 iostreams have a hexfloat that works the same).
nPrint nothing, but writes tbe number of characters successfully written so far into an integer pointer parameter.
Note: This can be utilized in Uncontrolled format string exploits.


  1. printf("Some format string%n\n", &resultOfNSpecifier);
  2. printf("Count of chars before the %%n: %d\n", resultOfNSpecifier);


 stdout
Some format string
Count of chars before the %n: 18


   v      default format          any type
The "%v" specifier is provided for all built-in types, and should be provided for user-defined type formatters as well. It picks a "best" representation for the given type. For the built-in types the "%v" specifier is converted as follows:
   c      Char
   u      other unsigned Integral
   d      other signed Integral
   g      RealFloat
   s      String
Mismatch between the argument types and the format string, as well as any other syntactic or semantic errors in the format string, will cause an exception to be thrown at runtime.

Any precision is followed optionally for Integral types by a width modifier; the only use of this modifier being to set the implicit size of the operand for conversion of a negative operand to unsigned:
   hh     Int8
   h      Int16
   l      Int32
   ll     Int64
   L      Int64

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