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ftell() in C with example

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ftell() in C is used to find out the position of the file pointer in the file with respect to starting of the file.


The syntax of ftell() is:

long ftell(FILE *stream);


  • stream: It is the pointer to the file stream.

Return Value

  • It returns a long integer value as the current position in the file.
  • It returns -1 if an error occurs.

Example of ftell()

The below C program demonstrates the use of ftell() function.


// C program to demonstrate use of ftell()
#include <stdio.h>
int main()
    /* Opening file in read mode */
    FILE* fp = fopen("g4g.txt", "r");
    /* Reading first string */
    char string[20];
    fscanf(fp, "%s", string);
    /* Printing position of file pointer */
    printf("%ld", ftell(fp));
    return 0;

Suppose the file g4g.txt contains the following data:


Someone over there is calling you. We are going for work. Take care of yourself.




ftell(fp) returns 7. As the length of “someone” is 7 and the character indices are from 0 to 6.

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Last Updated : 07 Jun, 2023
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