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Tip of the Day
Language: C++
Expertise: Beginner
Aug 20, 1999

Reading a String that Contains Whitespaces

In many C++ primers and courses, one of the common exercises is: "Write a function that reads a string of characters, say, the title of a book, from a keyboard and either write it to a file or to the screen."

Using the getline() member function for that purpose seems to be the right thing to do. However, it simply doesn't work. The problem is that getline() treats the first whitespace it encounters as a string terminator. Thus, a book's tile, a film's name, or a person's first name, and last name are chopped. To read a string that contains whitespaces, you should use the read() member function instead, which takes two arguments. The first argument is pointer to a char array large enough to contain the string to be read. The second argument is the maximal size of the string to be read (additional characters are discarded):

 
void GetTitle()
{
  char title[50];
  cin.read(buff, 49); //leave room for a terminating null
  cout<<buff;
}
Danny Kalev
 
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