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Scilab help >> Files : Input/Output functions > mscanf


reads input from the standard input (interface to the C scanf function)


reads input from the stream pointer stream (interface to the C fscanf function)


reads its input from the character string (interface to the C sscanf function)

Calling Sequence

L=mfscanf([niter,] fd,format)

[n,v_1,...v_n]=mscanf([niter,] format)

L=msscanf([niter,] str,format)



a Scilab string describing the format to use to write the remaining operands. The format operand follows, as close as possible, the C printf format operand syntax as described in scanf_conversion.


The fd parameter returned by the function mopen is used as a file descriptor (it's a positive integer). The value -1 refers to the last opened file.


a Scilab string or string vector.


an integer, the number of times the format as to be used.


an integer, the number of data read or -1 if EOL has been encountered before any datum has been read.


Each function reads characters, interprets them according to a format, and stores the results in its output arguments. If more than $n$ output arguments are provided, the last ones v_n+1,...v_m are set to empty matrices.


if all data are homogeneous they are stored in a unique vector which is returned, otherwise subsequences of same data type are stored in matrices and an mlist (with type cblock) containing all the built matrices is returned.


The mfscanf function reads characters from the stream fd.

The mscanf function reads characters from Scilab window.

The msscanf function reads characters from the Scilab string str.

The niter optional argument specifies how many time the format has to used. One iteration produces one line in the output matrix. If niter==-1 the function iterates up to the end of file. The niter default value is 1.

comments about precision :

mfscanf is based on C function fscanf. If you use '%f', '%g', '%e' as format your datas will be cast to float and returned in a scilab variable.

This scilab variable is a double then you can have some precision errors. In this case, it is better to use '%lg' format.


//--    Simple use                                        --
s='1 1.3'  //a string
[n,a,b]=msscanf(s,"%i %e")
L=msscanf(s,"%i %e")

//--    Formats samples                                   --

msscanf(" 12\n",'%c%c%c%c') //scan characters

msscanf('0xabc','%x') //scan with hexadecimal format

msscanf('012345abczoo','%[0-9abc]%s')  //[] notation

// reading float and double
msscanf('4345.988','%g')-4345.988 // scan as float
msscanf('4345.988','%lg')-4345.988 // scan as double

//--    scanning multi-line data files                    --
//create a file with data
t=(0:0.1:%pi)';mfprintf(u,"%6.3f %6.3f\n",t,sin(t))

u=mopen(TMPDIR+'/foo','r'); // open the file for reading
//read the file line by line
[n,a,b]=mfscanf(u,'%e %e') //first line using mutiple LHS syntax
l=mfscanf(u,'%e %e')       //second one using single LHS syntax
//use niter to read 5 more lines
l=mfscanf(5,u,'%e %e')  

//use niter=-1 to read up to the end of file
l=mfscanf(-1,u,'%e %e')  

mclose(u); //close the file

//--    scanning multi-line  strings vectors              --
//use niter to scan a string vector
[n,Names,Ages]=msscanf(-1,["Alain 19";"Pierre 15";"Tom 12"],'%s %d')
D=msscanf(-1,["Alain 19";"Pierre 15";"Tom 12"],'%s %d')
Names=D(:,1) //strings
Age=D(:,2)   //numerical values

See Also

  • mclose — close an opened file
  • meof — check if end of file has been reached
  • mfprintf — converts, formats, and writes data to a file
  • fprintfMat — Write a matrix in a file.
  • mfscanf — reads input from the standard input (interface to the C scanf function)
  • fscanfMat — Reads a Matrix from a text file.
  • mget — reads byte or word in a given binary format and convert to double
  • mgetstr — read a character string from a file
  • mopen — open a file
  • mprintf — converts, formats, and writes data to the main scilab window
  • mput — writes byte or word in a given binary format
  • mputstr — write a character string in a file
  • mscanf
  • mseek — set current position in binary file.
  • mtell — binary file management
  • mdelete — Delete file(s)
  • scanf_conversion — scanf, sscanf, fscanf conversion specifications
<< mfprintf Files : Input/Output functions mget >>

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Last updated:
Thu Mar 03 10:59:44 CET 2011