Parses input from a file according to a format
Filesystem Functions
PHP Manual


(PHP 4 >= 4.0.1, PHP 5)

fscanfParses input from a file according to a format


mixed fscanf ( resource $handle , string $format [, mixed &$... ] )

The function fscanf() is similar to sscanf(), but it takes its input from a file associated with handle and interprets the input according to the specified format, which is described in the documentation for sprintf().

Any whitespace in the format string matches any whitespace in the input stream. This means that even a tab \t in the format string can match a single space character in the input stream.

Each call to fscanf() reads one line from the file.



A file system pointer resource that is typically created using fopen().


The specified format as described in the sprintf() documentation.


The optional assigned values.

Return Values

If only two parameters were passed to this function, the values parsed will be returned as an array. Otherwise, if optional parameters are passed, the function will return the number of assigned values. The optional parameters must be passed by reference.


Version Description
4.3.0 Before this time, the maximum number of characters read from the file was 512 (or up to the first \n, whichever came first). But now, arbitrarily long lines will be read and scanned.


Example #1 fscanf() Example

while (
$userinfo fscanf($handle"%s\t%s\t%s\n")) {
    list (
$name$profession$countrycode) = $userinfo;
//... do something with the values

Example #2 Contents of users.txt

javier  argonaut        pe
hiroshi sculptor        jp
robert  slacker us
luigi   florist it

See Also

Filesystem Functions
PHP Manual