The preprocessor treatment of escaped newlines is more relaxed than that specified by the C90 standard, which requires the newline to immediately follow a backslash. GCC's implementation allows whitespace in the form of spaces, horizontal and vertical tabs, and form feeds between the backslash and the subsequent newline. The preprocessor issues a warning, but treats it as a valid escaped newline and combines the two lines to form a single logical line. This works within comments and tokens, as well as between tokens. Comments are not treated as whitespace for the purposes of this relaxation, since they have not yet been replaced with spaces.