Section (3) fgetwc

Linux manual pages Section 3  


fgetwc, getwc — read a wide character from a FILE stream


#include <stdio.h>
#include <wchar.h>
wint_t fgetwc( FILE *stream);
wint_t getwc( FILE *stream);


The fgetwc() function is the wide-character equivalent of the fgetc(3) function. It reads a wide character from stream and returns it. If the end of stream is reached, or if ferror(stream) becomes true, it returns WEOF. If a wide-character conversion error occurs, it sets errno to EILSEQ and returns WEOF.

The getwc() function or macro functions identically to fgetwc(). It may be implemented as a macro, and may evaluate its argument more than once. There is no reason ever to use it.

For nonlocking counterparts, see unlocked_stdio(3).


The fgetwc() function returns the next wide-character from the stream, or WEOF. In the event of an error, errno is set to indicate the cause.


Apart from the usual ones, there is


The data obtained from the input stream does not form a valid character.


For an explanation of the terms used in this section, see attributes(7).

Interface Attribute Value
fgetwc(), getwc() Thread safety MT-Safe


POSIX.1-2001, POSIX.1-2008, C99.


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

In the absence of additional information passed to the fopen(3) call, it is reasonable to expect that fgetwc() will actually read a multibyte sequence from the stream and then convert it to a wide character.


fgetws(3), fputwc(3), ungetwc(3), unlocked_stdio(3)


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  Copyright (c) Bruno Haible <>

This is free documentation; you can redistribute it and/or
modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as
published by the Free Software Foundation; either version 2 of
the License, or (at your option) any later version.

References consulted:
  GNU glibc-2 source code and manual
  Dinkumware C library reference
  OpenGroup_zsingle_quotesz_s Single UNIX specification
  ISO/IEC 9899:1999

Modified Tue Oct 16 23:18:40 BST 2001 by John Levon <>