Pointer is a variable that stores memory addresses. Unlike normal variables it does not store user given or processed value, instead it stores valid computer memory address.
Functions makes our program modular and maintainable. Big applications can have hundreds of functions.
Array is a data structure to store homogeneous collection of data. Arrays are equally important as functions. In programming we often use arrays and functions together.
Here in this post I will explain how to pass and return array from function in C programming.
Write a C program to input elements in an array and print array using pointers. How to input and display array elements using pointer in C programming.
Input array size: 10 Input elements: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Array elements: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10
A function is a collection of statements grouped together to perform a task. Function encapsulates behaviour and allows us to write modular and reusable code. Instead of writing same code to perform an action 'A' repeatedly, we call a function that encapsulates action 'A'.
Pointer is a variable pointing at a memory location of specific type. Type defines many important properties related to the pointer. Such as valid memory addresses it can point, pointer arithmetic, etc.
As per C programming semantics, you must specify pointer type during its declaration. Also, it is illegal to point pointer of one type to object of another type. For example,
int pointer cannot point to a
Pointers are the most powerful as well as complex component of C programming. For newbies, it’s like learning rocket science in C. However, I have tried my best to simplify things.
In this ongoing series of C programming tutorial, I have explained many concepts related to pointers. Here in this section we will focus on some confusing pointer terminologies. We will learn and compare constant pointer with pointer to constant and constant pointer to constant.
In C programming, pointers and array shares a very close relationship. Array is a data structure that hold finite sequential collection of similar type data. We use array to store a collection of similar type data together. To access and array element we use index. These index starts from 0 and goes up to
N-1 (where N is size of the array).
We learned to create pointers to
char. In real, you can have pointer to any type in C. You can have a pointer to
double, structure, array or even pointer. In fact, you can declare pointer to pointer to pointer to pointer. That looks complex. For now, let us focus on pointer to pointer.
Pointer is a variable that points to a memory location. Memory addresses are numeric value that ranges from zero to maximum memory size in bytes. These addresses can be manipulated like simple variables. You can increment, decrement, calculate or compare these addresses manually.
C language provides a set of operators to perform arithmetic and comparison of memory addresses. Pointer arithmetic and comparison in C is supported by following operators -
- Increment and decrement
- Addition and Subtraction
Pointers are the heart of C programming. It is the most distinct feature of C, which provides power and flexibility to C. Pointers separates C from other programming languages.
C programmers make extensive use of pointers, because of their numerous benefits. Below are some advantages of pointers.
- Pointers are more efficient in handling arrays and structures.
- Pointers are used to return multiple values from a function.
- We use pointers to get reference of a variable or function.
- Pointer allows dynamic memory allocation (creation of variables at runtime) in C. Which undoubtedly is the biggest advantage of pointers.
- Pointers increases execution speed of program.