C++ Pointers

The pointer in C++ language is a variable, it is also known as locator or indicator that points to an address of a value.

Cpp Pointers 1
Advantage of pointer
  • Pointer reduces the code and improves the performance, it is used to retrieving strings, trees etc. and used with arrays, structures and functions.
  • We can return multiple values from function using pointer.
  • It makes you able to access any memory location in the computer's memory.
Usage of pointer

There are many usage of pointers in C++ language.

1) Dynamic memory allocation

In c language, we can dynamically allocate memory using malloc() and calloc() functions where pointer is used.

2) Arrays, Functions and Structures

Pointers in c language are widely used in arrays, functions and structures. It reduces the code and improves the performance.

Symbols used in pointer

Symbol Name Description
& (ampersand sign) Address operator Determine the address of a variable.
∗ (asterisk sign) Indirection operator Access the value of an address.

Declaring a pointer

The pointer in C++ language can be declared using ∗ (asterisk symbol).

int ∗	a; //pointer to int  
char ∗	c; //pointer to char
Example #1

Let's see the simple example of using pointers printing the address and value.

#include <iostream>
using namespace std;
int main()
int number=30;  
int ∗	p;    
p=&number;//stores the address of number variable  
cout<<"Address of number variable is:"<<&number<<endl;  
cout<<"Address of p variable is:"<<p<<endl;  
cout<<"Value of p variable is:"<<*p<<endl;  
   return 0;
Address of number variable is:0x7ffccc8724c4 Address of p variable is:0x7ffccc8724c4 Value of p variable is:30
Example #2

Pointer Program to swap 2 numbers without using 3rd variable

#include <iostream>
using namespace std;
int main()
int a=20,b=10,∗p1=&a,∗p2=&b;  
cout<<"Before swap: ∗p1="<<∗p1<<" ∗p2="<<∗p2<<endl;  
cout<<"After swap: ∗p1="<<∗p1<<" ∗p2="<<∗p2<<endl;  
   return 0;
Before swap: ∗p1=20 ∗p2=10 After swap: ∗p1=10 ∗p2=20
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