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Tip of the Day
Language: C++
Expertise: Beginner
May 23, 1999

File Input/Output

Question:
I would like to know what is the difference in C between opening a file opened in binary or text mode.

Answer:
The primary difference is in the handling of newlines. Some operating systems use a single character ('\n') to signify a new line. However, Windows, being derived from DOS, uses two characters ("\r\n").

When a file is opened in text mode, these two characters signify a new line. In binary mode, they are returned as two characters within the file.

Another difference is in end-of-file detection. Routines that operate in text mode stop reading if they encounter an end-of-file character. Files opened in binary mode read until the last byte in the file.

Use text mode for reading text files. Use binary mode when you need access to every byte in the file.

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