Defined in header <cstdio>
long ftell( std::FILE* stream );

Returns the current value of the file position indicator for the file stream stream.

If the stream is open in binary mode, the value obtained by this function is the number of bytes from the beginning of the file.

If the stream is open in text mode, the value returned by this function is unspecified and is only meaningful as the input to std::fseek.


stream - file stream to examine

Return value

File position indicator on success or -1L if failure occurs. Also sets errno on failure.


Demonstrates std::ftell() with error checking. Writes then reads a few floating-point (FP) values to/from a file.

#include <cstdio>
#include <cstdlib>
#include <iostream>
// If the condition is not met then exit the program with error message.
void check(bool condition, const char* func, int line)
    if (condition)
    std::cerr << func << " failed in file " << __FILE__ << " at line # " << line - 1
              << '\n';
int main()
    // Prepare an array of FP values.
    constexpr int SIZE {5};
    double A[SIZE] = {1.1, 2.2, 3.3, 4.4, 5.5};
    // Write array to a file.
    const char* fname = "/tmp/test.bin";
    FILE* file = std::fopen(fname, "wb");
    check(file != NULL, "fopen()", __LINE__);
    const int write_count = std::fwrite(A, sizeof(double), SIZE, file);
    check(write_count == SIZE, "fwrite()", __LINE__);
    // Read the FP values into array B.
    double B[SIZE];
    file = std::fopen(fname, "rb");
    check(file != NULL, "fopen()", __LINE__);
    long pos = std::ftell(file); // position indicator at start of file
    check(pos != -1L, "ftell()", __LINE__);
    std::cout << "pos: " << pos << '\n';
    const int read_count = std::fread(B, sizeof(double), 1, file); // read one FP value
    check(read_count == 1, "fread()", __LINE__);
    pos = std::ftell(file); // position indicator after reading one FP value
    check(pos != -1L, "ftell()", __LINE__);
    std::cout << "pos: " << pos << '\n';
    std::cout << "B[0]: " << B[0] << '\n'; // print one FP value
    return EXIT_SUCCESS;

Possible output:

pos: 0
pos: 8
B[0]: 1.1

See also

gets the file position indicator
moves the file position indicator to a specific location in a file
moves the file position indicator to a specific location in a file
returns the input position indicator
(public member function of std::basic_istream<CharT,Traits>)
returns the output position indicator
(public member function of std::basic_ostream<CharT,Traits>)
C documentation for ftell

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