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


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



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


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

1. A wide character has been encountered that can not be represented as a multibyte sequence (according to the current locale). In this case (size_t) -1 is returned.

2. The length limit forces a stop. In this case the number of bytes written to dest is returned, but the shift state at this point is lost.

3. The wide-character string has been completely converted, including the terminating null wide character (L'\0'). In this case the conversion ends in the initial state. The number of bytes written to dest, excluding the terminating null byte ('\0'), is returned.

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

If dest is NULL, n is ignored, and the conversion proceeds as above, except that the converted bytes 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 or equal to wcstombs(NULL,src,0)+1.


The wcstombs() function returns the number of bytes that make up the converted part of multibyte sequence, not including the terminating null byte. If a wide character was encountered which could not be converted, (size_t) -1 is returned.




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

The function wcsrtombs(3) provides a thread safe interface to the same functionality.


mbstowcs(3), wcsrtombs(3)


This page is part of release 3.53 of the Linux man-pages project. A description of the project, and information about reporting bugs, can be found at http://www.kernel.org/doc/man-pages/.
2011-10-16 GNU