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Character Data Type

Module by: Kenneth Leroy Busbee. E-mail the author

Summary: An introduction to the character data type.

Overview of the Character Data Type

The character data type basically represents individual or single characters. Characters comprise a variety of symbols such as the alphabet (both upper and lower case) the numeral digits (0 to 9), punctuation, etc. All computers store character data in a one byte field as an integer value. Because a byte consists of 8 bits, this one byte field has 28 or 256 possibilities using the positive values of 0 to 255.

Most microcomputers use the ASCII (stands for American Standard Code for Information Interchange and is pronounced "ask-key") Character Set which has established values for 0 to 127. For the values of 128 to 255 they usually use the Extended ASCII Character Set. When we hit the capital A on the keyboard, the keyboard sends a byte with the bit pattern equal to an integer 65. When the byte is sent from the memory to the monitor, the monitor converts the integer value of 65 to into the symbol of the capital A to display on the monitor.

The character data type attributes include:

Table 1
C++ Reserved Word char
Represent Single characters
Size 1 byte
Normal Signage Unsigned (positive values only)
Domain (Values Allowed) Values from 0 to 127 as shown in the standard ASCII Character Set, plus values 128 to 255 from the Extended ASCII Character Set
C++ syntax rule Single quote marks – Example: 'A'

Demonstration Program in C++

Creating a Folder or Sub-Folder for Source Code Files

Depending on your compiler/IDE, you should decide where to download and store source code files for processing. Prudence dictates that you create these folders as needed prior to downloading source code files. A suggested sub-folder for the Bloodshed Dev-C++ 5 compiler/IDE might be named:

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If you have not done so, please create the folder(s) and/or sub-folder(s) as appropriate.

Download the Demo Program

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Download from Connexions: Demo_Character_Data_Type.cpp

Definitions

Definition 1: character
A data type representing single text characters like the alphabet, numeral digits, punctuation, etc.
Definition 2: ASCII
American Standard Code for Information Interchange
Definition 3: single quote marks
Used to create character type data within the C++ programming language.

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