Accepting string as the input in C Language

Categories: C language

Till now, we have used scanf to accept the input from the user. However, it can also be used in the case of strings but with a different scenario. Consider the below code which stores the string while space is encountered.

#include<stdio.h>  

void main ()  

{  

    char s[20];  

    printf("Enter the string?");  

    scanf("%s",s);  

    printf("You entered %s",s);  

}  

Output

Enter the string?javatpoint is the best                                                                 

You entered javatpoint


It is clear from the output that, the above code will not work for space separated strings. To make this code working for the space separated strings, the minor changed required in the scanf function, i.e., instead of writing scanf("%s",s), we must write: scanf("%[^\n]s",s) which instructs the compiler to store the string s while the new line (\n) is encountered. Let's consider the following example to store the space-separated strings.


#include<stdio.h>  

void main ()  

{  

    char s[20];  

    printf("Enter the string?");  

    scanf("%[^\n]s",s);  

    printf("You entered %s",s);  

}  

Output

Enter the string?javatpoint is the best

You entered javatpoint is the best

Here we must also notice that we do not need to use address of (&) operator in scanf to store a string since string s is an array of characters and the name of the array, i.e., s indicates the base address of the string (character array) therefore we need not use & with it.


Some important points

However, there are the following points which must be noticed while entering the strings by using scanf.


1. The compiler doesn't perform bounds checking on the character array. Hence, there can be a case where the length of the string can exceed the dimension of the character array which may always overwrite some important data.

2. Instead of using scanf, we may use gets() which is an inbuilt function defined in a header file string.h. The gets() is capable of receiving only one string at a time.

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