The Basics of C Programming

Text Files: Reading

To read a file, open it with r mode. In general, it is not a good idea to use fscanf for reading: Unless the file is perfectly formatted, fscanf will not handle it correctly. Instead, use fgets to read in each line and then parse out the pieces you need.

The following code demonstrates the process of reading a file and dumping its contents to the screen:


#include <stdio.h>

int main()
    FILE *f;
    char s[1000];

    if (!f)
        return 1;
    while (fgets(s,1000,f)!=NULL)
    return 0;

The fgets statement returns a NULL value at the end-of-file marker. It reads a line (up to 1,000 characters in this case) and then prints it to stdout. Notice that the printf statement does not include \n in the format string, because fgets adds \n to the end of each line it reads. Thus, you can tell if a line is not complete in the event that it overflows the maximum line length specified in the second parameter to fgets.