scanf(“%[^\n]s”, str) Vs gets(str) in C with Examples


  • gets is a more convenient method of reading a string of text containing whitespaces.
  • Unlike scanf(), it does not skip whitespaces.
  • It is used to read the input until it encounters newline.


  • It is an edit conversion code.
  • The edit conversion code %[^\n] can be used as an alternative of gets.
  • C supports this format specification with scanf() function.
  • This edit conversion code can be used to read a line containing characters like variables and even whitespaces.
  • In general scanf() function with format specification like %s and specification with the field width in the form of %ws can read-only strings till non-whitespace part.
  • It means they cannot be used for reading a text containing more than one word, especially with Whitespaces.

Table of difference and similarities between gets() and %[^\n]

gets() %[^\n] 
gets() is used to read strings %[^\n] is an edit conversion code used to read strings
Unlike scanf(), gets() reads strings even with whitespaces %[^\n] also reads strings with whitespaces
when it reads a newline character then the gets() function will be terminated %[^\n] also terminates with a newline character

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