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The Cpp String Data Type

Updated on October 17, 2009


This tutorial introduces basic techniques for manipulating the String data type in C Plus Plus (C++). We address the concept of a representing a string, accessing individual character elements in the string, and outputting the string to stdout.

The original language did not include a native type for representing strings. Programmers adapted by implementing an null-terminated character array that was referred to in programming circles as a string. This type of string was supported by ANSI standard functions found in the ANSI standard header string.h.

C Plus Plus (C++) includes a class called String that provides more functionality and more data integrity that the original C string. The C++ string is defined in the header called string.

The C Plus Plus String Type

 * The C Plus Plus String Type                               main.cpp *
 * Author: nicomp                                                     *
 * Abstract: This project illustrates techniques for C++ strings.     *
 *  This data type abstracts the concept of a 'string' and            *
 *  eliminates the need for all that tedious mucking about in         *
 *  pointers. It's considered a replacement for null-terminated       *
 *  arrays of characters.                                             *
 * Note: the string data type is implemented as a C++ class.          *
 *                                                                    *
#include <iostream>
#include <vector>
#include <String>    // This is the C++ String Type

using namespace std;

void main()
//    One string          012345678901
      string strBuff = "Hello World";
//    You can index it just like an array.
//    Note the single quotes for a single character.
      strBuff[0] = 'J';    // Now it contains "Jello World"

//    Unlike a char array, 
//     you can't use an index that's beyond the current size.
//    strBuff[12] = '!';        // oops. A runtime error.

//    You can dynamically resize the variable, unlike a char array.
      strBuff = "Indiana Hoosiers";

//    You can print the contents.
      cout << "\n The string contains >" << strBuff.c_str() << "<";

//    You can check the length by calling a function.
      cout << "\n The string is " << strBuff.size() << 
           " characters long.";

//    You can append more characters to the end.
      cout << "\n After appending, the string contains >" 
      << strBuff.c_str() << "<";

//    You can insert characters at the beginning.
      strBuff.insert(0, "Your ");
      cout << "\n After inserting, the string contains >" 
      << strBuff.c_str() << "<";

//    Check the length again.
      cout << "\n The string is now " << strBuff.size() <<  
          " characters long.";

//    ***********************
//    Variations on a theme
//    ***********************

//    An array of strings
      string strStringArray[5];

//    A vector of strings
      vector<string> strStringVector;

//    An array of string vectors
      vector<string> strStringVectorArray[5];

      cout << "\n\n\n";


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    • nicomp profile image

      nicomp really 7 years ago from Ohio, USA

      @ki: Thanks for stopping by.