C Library - <limits.h>


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The limits.h header determines various properties of the various variable types. The macros defined in this header, limits the values of various variable types like char, int and long.

These limits specify that a variable cannot store any value beyond these limits, for example an unsigned character can store up to a maximum value of 255.

Library Macros

The following values are implementation-specific and defined with the #define directive, but these values may not be any lower than what is given here.

Macro Value Description
CHAR_BIT 8 Defines the number of bits in a byte.
SCHAR_MIN -128 Defines the minimum value for a signed char.
SCHAR_MAX +127 Defines the maximum value for a signed char.
UCHAR_MAX 255 Defines the maximum value for an unsigned char.
CHAR_MIN -128 Defines the minimum value for type char and its value will be equal to SCHAR_MIN if char represents negative values, otherwise zero.
CHAR_MAX +127 Defines the value for type char and its value will be equal to SCHAR_MAX if char represents negative values, otherwise UCHAR_MAX.
MB_LEN_MAX 16 Defines the maximum number of bytes in a multi-byte character.
SHRT_MIN -32768 Defines the minimum value for a short int.
SHRT_MAX +32767 Defines the maximum value for a short int.
USHRT_MAX 65535 Defines the maximum value for an unsigned short int.
INT_MIN -2147483648 Defines the minimum value for an int.
INT_MAX +2147483647 Defines the maximum value for an int.
UINT_MAX 4294967295 Defines the maximum value for an unsigned int.
LONG_MIN -9223372036854775808 Defines the minimum value for a long int.
LONG_MAX +9223372036854775807 Defines the maximum value for a long int.
ULONG_MAX 18446744073709551615 Defines the maximum value for an unsigned long int.

Example

The following example shows the usage of few of the constants defined in limits.h file.

Live Demo
#include <stdio.h>
#include <limits.h>

int main() {

   printf("The number of bits in a byte %d\n", CHAR_BIT);

   printf("The minimum value of SIGNED CHAR = %d\n", SCHAR_MIN);
   printf("The maximum value of SIGNED CHAR = %d\n", SCHAR_MAX);
   printf("The maximum value of UNSIGNED CHAR = %d\n", UCHAR_MAX);

   printf("The minimum value of SHORT INT = %d\n", SHRT_MIN);
   printf("The maximum value of SHORT INT = %d\n", SHRT_MAX); 

   printf("The minimum value of INT = %d\n", INT_MIN);
   printf("The maximum value of INT = %d\n", INT_MAX);

   printf("The minimum value of CHAR = %d\n", CHAR_MIN);
   printf("The maximum value of CHAR = %d\n", CHAR_MAX);

   printf("The minimum value of LONG = %ld\n", LONG_MIN);
   printf("The maximum value of LONG = %ld\n", LONG_MAX);
  
   return(0);
}

Let us compile and run the above program that will produce the following result −

The number of bits in a byte 8
The minimum value of SIGNED CHAR = -128
The maximum value of SIGNED CHAR = 127
The maximum value of UNSIGNED CHAR = 255
The minimum value of SHORT INT = -32768
The maximum value of SHORT INT = 32767
The minimum value of INT = -2147483648
The maximum value of INT = 2147483647
The minimum value of CHAR = -128
The maximum value of CHAR = 127
The minimum value of LONG = -9223372036854775808
The maximum value of LONG = 9223372036854775807
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