C Programming Tutorial

C Structures and Unions Tutorial

Structures are user defined data types in C,Structures aggregate heterogeous data types into single unit.On the other hand Union is a structure with overlapping members; only the last member stored is valid.

Structures are also called as a Compound Types, where as int float,char,double called as primitive data types or built-in data types, whcih holds single value.Structure holds multiple values.

for ex: Person has Id,Name,profession,bank details, credit card etc.,, all these fileds can be combined together to form a compound type called Person.

Structure Syntax:

		struct [tag name]{
			datatype memeber1;
			datatype memeber2;
			datatype memeberN;
		}[variable names....];

		**Tag name and variable names are optional.

Declaring the structure

			struct Book
				int bookId;
				char title[50];
				char author[50];
				float price; 

Structure book has 4 attributes or members called bookId,Title,author and price information. 
Here "Book" is the tag name. It is a mere template, No storage been allocated in the declaration.

Creating variables of structure data type

			In the structure declartion itself variables can be created.
			struct Book
				int bookId;
				char title[50];
				char author[50];
				float price; 
			Here  b1,b2,b3 are variables of type struct Book. This is one way of creating variables of structure.
			whenever user delcares varaibles then only memory will be allocated for each memeber in the structure.
		Another way of creating structure type
			struct keyword  tag name followed by comma seperated varaible names.
			struct Book b1,b2,b3;
		Both declarions yields same.

Initializing the Structure variables

By Default all data memebers will be assigned based on data type. for ex:

  • for integer default value 0
  • for float and double devault value is 0.0
  • for char data type default value is '\0'
  • for arrays all elements filled with null character
  • for pointer variables default vaule is '\0' or 0x0

struct Book b={1001,"A Tour of C++","Bjarne Stroustrup",59.99f};
Here declaring a variable b of structure Book and Initializing with values
1001 will be copied to bookId, ""A Tour of C++"" will be copied to title,
"Bjarne Stroustrup" copied to author, 59,99 copied to price.
There is one-to-one mapping between values and data memebers. **Note specifing all 4 fields.
			Initializing  few fields
struct Book b={1001,"A Tour of C++"}; // right  first 2 fields intialized
struct Book b={1001,"A Tour of C++","Bjarne Stroustrup"};// right first 3 fields intialized
struct Book b={1001,"A Tour of C++",59.99f}; //// wrong first 2 fields intialized , third value ignored
struct Book b={0};// right
struct Book b={"A Tour of C++","Bjarne Stroustrup",59.99f};// wrong bookid is int, author is char array, so 1st and 3rd ignored, 2nd value copied to authors array

Accessing Structure members

Accessing Structure members using dot(.) operator syntax: variablename.datamembername
struct Book b={1001,"A Tour of C++","Bjarne Stroustrup",69.99f};
printf("Book id=%d ",b.bookId); printf("Book title=%s ",b.title); printf("Book author=%s ",b.author); printf("Book Price=%.2f ",b.price);

Accessing Structure members using -> operator syntax: pointername->datamembername
struct Book b={1001,"A Tour of C++","Bjarne Stroustrup",69.99f};
struct Book *pb=&b; printf("Book id=%d ",pb->bookId); printf("Book title=%s ",pb->title); printf("Book author=%s ",pb->author); printf("Book Price=%.2f ",pb->price);

Enum types

    Enumerated types define new user defined type. Enumerated types mainly used for grouping related items together.
for ex: Days , Months etc.,


			in DAYS enum
			SUN has value 0, MON (SUN+1)=1  TUE=MON+1=2 ..... SAT=FRI+1=6
			compiler assigns these values.

			programmer can set any values these constants...


			In this SUN set to 1  , MON becomes (SUN)+1=2 ..... SAT=(FRI)+1=7
			Simlilaryly for MONTHS enum

			JAN set to 1 , FEB value not set, so  it becomes JAN+1=2, MAR becomes FEB+1=3 ... DEC set to 12

			enum  MEMBERSHIP {SILVER=2000,GOLD=5000,PLATINUM=10000};
			In this enum MEMBERSHIP  each enum constant set to different values.	

Displaying Enum values

printf("%d",JAN);/* enum values are constants, In MONTHS enum, all Integer constants */

ENUM example

	 enum MEMBERSHIP{SILVER=5000,GOLD=10000,PLATINUM=20000};

        printf("Please enter Number 1..3\n 1 for SILVER \n 2 for GOLD \n 3 for  PLATINUM\n");

        int m;

                case 1: printf("SILVER membership with %d points\n", SILVER);break;
                case 2: printf("GOLD membership with %d points\n", GOLD);break;
                case 3: printf("PLATINUM membership with %d points\n", PLATINUM);break;
                default:printf("Not a valid membership\n");break;


Changing the value of ENUM constants, SILVER=10000; or doing arithmetic operations on enum constants SILVER+=10000; gives error message error: lvalue required as left operand of assignment

Return ENUM type from a FUNCTION

#include <stdio.h>


enum EMPLOYEE_TYPE  getEmpType(char c);

int main()
        printf("Employee Type=%c\n",getEmpType('C'));

enum EMPLOYEE_TYPE  getEmpType(char c)
        enum EMPLOYEE_TYPE val;
        case 'P':val=PERMANENT;break;
        case 'C':val=CONTRACT;break;
        case 'F':val=FREELANCE;break;
        case 'N':val=NOTAPPLICABLE;break;

        return val;



typedef is a keyword is used to create new name for an existing data type.

      typedef built-in-type Synonym;

      typedef int Integer;

Integer is a synonym for int.

Now user can declare int types as
Integer i=10,j=20; Valid declaration

size_t is a unsigned integer or synonym for unsigned integer defined in string.h