C program to count characters, words and lines in a text file

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Write a C program to count number of characters, words and lines in a text file. Logic to count characters, words and lines in a file in C program. How to count total characters, words and lines in a text file in C programming.

Example

Source file

I love programming.
Working with files in C programming is fun.
I am learning C programming at Codeforwin.

Output

Total characters = 106
Total words      = 18
Total lines      = 3

Required knowledge

Basic Input Output, Pointers, String, File Handling

Logic to count characters, words and lines in a file

Step by step descriptive logic to count characters, words and lines in a text file.

  1. Open source file in r (read) mode.
  2. Initialize three variables characters = 0, words = 0 and lines = 0 to store counts.
  3. Read a character from file and store it to some variable say ch.
  4. Increment characters count.
    Increment words count if current character is whitespace character i.e. if (ch == ' ' || ch == '\t' || ch == '\n' || ch == '\0').
    Increment lines count if current character is new line character i.e. if (ch == '\n' || ch == '\0').
  5. Repeat step 3-4 till file has reached end.
  6. Finally after file has reached end increment words and lines count by one if total characters > 0 to make sure you count last word and line.

Program to count characters, words and lines in a file

/**
 * C program to count number of characters, words and lines in a text file.
 */

#include <stdio.h>
#include <stdlib.h>

int main()
{
    FILE * file;
    char path[100];

    char ch;
    int characters, words, lines;


    /* Input path of files to merge to third file */
    printf("Enter source file path: ");
    scanf("%s", path);

    /* Open source files in 'r' mode */
    file = fopen(path, "r");


    /* Check if file opened successfully */
    if (file == NULL)
    {
        printf("\nUnable to open file.\n");
        printf("Please check if file exists and you have read privilege.\n");

        exit(EXIT_FAILURE);
    }

    /*
     * Logic to count characters, words and lines.
     */
    characters = words = lines = 0;
    while ((ch = fgetc(file)) != EOF)
    {
        characters++;

        /* Check new line */
        if (ch == '\n' || ch == '\0')
            lines++;

        /* Check words */
        if (ch == ' ' || ch == '\t' || ch == '\n' || ch == '\0')
            words++;
    }

    /* Increment words and lines for last word */
    if (characters > 0)
    {
        words++;
        lines++;
    }

    /* Print file statistics */
    printf("\n");
    printf("Total characters = %d\n", characters);
    printf("Total words      = %d\n", words);
    printf("Total lines      = %d\n", lines);


    /* Close files to release resources */
    fclose(file);

    return 0;
}

Suppose if data\file3.txt contains

I love programming.
Working with files in C programming is fun.
I am learning C programming at Codeforwin.

Output

Enter source file path: data\file3.txt

Total characters = 106
Total words      = 18
Total lines      = 3

Happy coding 😉

About Pankaj

Blogger, Programmer, developer, music lover, and learner. I started this blog to share a bit of knowledge what I have to the world.

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