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Difference between Scanf and Fgets

Difference between Scanf and Fgets

Debugging a C program can be tricky. There are so many functions and libraries to choose from! So, which function should you use to input data from the user? This blog post will compare scanf() and fgets(), and explain the difference between the two. Stay tuned!

What is Scanf?

Scanf is a function in C programming that allows a program to read formatted input from the user. It can be used to read in various data types such as integers, floats, and characters. Scanf requires the user to specify the type of data they are entering, as well as the memory location where it should be stored.

It is important to note that Scanf only reads in input from the standard input stream (typically the keyboard), so any other sources of input must be redirected before using Scanf. Additionally, Scanf can only handle one item of input at a time, so multiple inputs must be entered separately or with additional Scanf statements.

What is Fgets?

Fgets is a function in the C programming language that is used to read a string from a specified input stream, typically a file. It can also be used to read user input from the console. Fgets takes in three parameters: the destination for the string, the maximum number of characters to be read, and the input stream from which it will read. Fgets reads until either the designated number of characters have been read or until it reaches a newline character or end-of-file marker. Fgets also adds a null character at the end of the string to mark its termination.

Difference between Scanf and Fgets

In C programming, Scanf and Fgets are both used for inputting data. However, they have some key differences. First, Scanf is used specifically for inputting formatted data, while Fgets can be used for inputting any type of data, including strings. Additionally, Scanf requires the programmer to specify the data type of the inputted information, whereas Fgets can read in a string of characters without prior specification. Furthermore, Scanf stops reading input at the first white space it encounters, whereas Fgets reads in a whole line until it reaches a predefined buffer size or a new line character.


We’ve shown you the difference between scanf() and fgets(). Now it’s up to you to decide which is best for your needs. Each has its own strengths and weaknesses, so it’s important to understand what each can do before making a decision.

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