Programs that work with characters and strings often need to classify a character—is it alphabetic, is it a digit, is it whitespace, and so on—and perform case conversion operations on characters. The functions in the header file ctype.h are provided for this purpose.
Since the choice of locale and character set can alter the
classifications of particular character codes, all of these functions
are affected by the current locale. (More precisely, they are affected
by the locale currently selected for character classification—the
LC_CTYPE category; see Locale Categories.)
The ISO C standard specifies two different sets of functions. The
one set works on
char type characters, the other one on
wchar_t wide characters (see Introduction to Extended Characters).