Programming Tutorials

Character String Literals in C++

By: Stanley B. in C++ Tutorials on 2011-02-19  

All of the literals we've seen so far have primitive built-in types. There is one additional literalstring literalthat is more complicated. String literals are arrays of constant characters.

String literal constants are written as zero or more characters enclosed in double quotation marks. Nonprintable characters are represented by their underlying escape sequence.

     "Hello World!"                 // simple string literal
     ""                             // empty string literal
     "\nCC\toptions\tfile.[cC]\n"   // string literal using newlines and tabs

For compatibility with C, string literals in C++ have one character in addition to those typed in by the programmer. Every string literal ends with a null character added by the compiler. A character literal

     'A' // single quote: character literal

represents the single character A, whereas

     "A" // double quote: character string literal

represents an array of two characters: the letter A and the null character.

Just as there is a wide character literal, such as


there is a wide string literal, again preceded by L, such as

      L"a wide string literal"

The type of a wide string literal is an array of constant wide characters. It is also terminated by a wide null character.

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