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14.2.19 File Positioning

Three functions are available for setting and determining the position of the file pointer for a given file.

Built-in Function: ftell (fid)

Return the position of the file pointer as the number of characters from the beginning of the file fid.

See also: fseek, fopen, fclose.

Built-in Function: fseek (fid, offset, origin)

Set the file pointer to any location within the file fid.

The pointer is positioned offset characters from the origin, which may be one of the predefined variables SEEK_CUR (current position), SEEK_SET (beginning), or SEEK_END (end of file) or strings "cof", "bof" or "eof". If origin is omitted, SEEK_SET is assumed. The offset must be zero, or a value returned by ftell (in which case origin must be SEEK_SET).

Return 0 on success and -1 on error.

See also: ftell, fopen, fclose.

Built-in Function: SEEK_SET ()
Built-in Function: SEEK_CUR ()
Built-in Function: SEEK_END ()

Return the value required to request that fseek perform one of the following actions:


Position file relative to the beginning.


Position file relative to the current position.


Position file relative to the end.

Built-in Function: frewind (fid)

Move the file pointer to the beginning of the file fid, returning 0 for success, and -1 if an error was encountered. It is equivalent to fseek (fid, 0, SEEK_SET).

The following example stores the current file position in the variable marker, moves the pointer to the beginning of the file, reads four characters, and then returns to the original position.

marker = ftell (myfile);
frewind (myfile);
fourch = fgets (myfile, 4);
fseek (myfile, marker, SEEK_SET);

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