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Conversion of Extended Characters One by One

You can convert multibyte characters one at a time to wide characters with the mbtowc function. The wctomb function does the reverse. These functions are declared in `stdlib.h'.

Function: int mbtowc (wchar_t *result, const char *string, size_t size)

The mbtowc ("multibyte to wide character") function when called with non-null string converts the first multibyte character beginning at string to its corresponding wide character code. It stores the result in *result.

mbtowc never examines more than size bytes. (The idea is to supply for size the number of bytes of data you have in hand.)

mbtowc with non-null string distinguishes three possibilities: the first size bytes at string start with valid multibyte character, they start with an invalid byte sequence or just part of a character, or string points to an empty string (a null character).

For a valid multibyte character, mbtowc converts it to a wide character and stores that in *result, and returns the number of bytes in that character (always at least 1, and never more than size).

For an invalid byte sequence, mbtowc returns -1. For an empty string, it returns 0, also storing 0 in *result.

If the multibyte character code uses shift characters, then mbtowc maintains and updates a shift state as it scans. If you call mbtowc with a null pointer for string, that initializes the shift state to its standard initial value. It also returns nonzero if the multibyte character code in use actually has a shift state. See section Multibyte Codes Using Shift Sequences.

Function: int wctomb (char *string, wchar_t wchar)

The wctomb ("wide character to multibyte") function converts the wide character code wchar to its corresponding multibyte character sequence, and stores the result in bytes starting at string. At most MB_CUR_MAX characters are stored.

wctomb with non-null string distinguishes three possibilities for wchar: a valid wide character code (one that can be translated to a multibyte character), an invalid code, and 0.

Given a valid code, wctomb converts it to a multibyte character, storing the bytes starting at string. Then it returns the number of bytes in that character (always at least 1, and never more than MB_CUR_MAX).

If wchar is an invalid wide character code, wctomb returns -1. If wchar is 0, it returns 0, also storing 0 in *string.

If the multibyte character code uses shift characters, then wctomb maintains and updates a shift state as it scans. If you call wctomb with a null pointer for string, that initializes the shift state to its standard initial value. It also returns nonzero if the multibyte character code in use actually has a shift state. See section Multibyte Codes Using Shift Sequences.

Calling this function with a wchar argument of zero when string is not null has the side-effect of reinitializing the stored shift state as well as storing the multibyte character 0 and returning 0.

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