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4.4.3: Literals and Constants - Characters

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  • \( \newcommand{\vecs}[1]{\overset { \scriptstyle \rightharpoonup} {\mathbf{#1}} } \) \( \newcommand{\vecd}[1]{\overset{-\!-\!\rightharpoonup}{\vphantom{a}\smash {#1}}} \)\(\newcommand{\id}{\mathrm{id}}\) \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\) \( \newcommand{\kernel}{\mathrm{null}\,}\) \( \newcommand{\range}{\mathrm{range}\,}\) \( \newcommand{\RealPart}{\mathrm{Re}}\) \( \newcommand{\ImaginaryPart}{\mathrm{Im}}\) \( \newcommand{\Argument}{\mathrm{Arg}}\) \( \newcommand{\norm}[1]{\| #1 \|}\) \( \newcommand{\inner}[2]{\langle #1, #2 \rangle}\) \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\) \(\newcommand{\id}{\mathrm{id}}\) \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\) \( \newcommand{\kernel}{\mathrm{null}\,}\) \( \newcommand{\range}{\mathrm{range}\,}\) \( \newcommand{\RealPart}{\mathrm{Re}}\) \( \newcommand{\ImaginaryPart}{\mathrm{Im}}\) \( \newcommand{\Argument}{\mathrm{Arg}}\) \( \newcommand{\norm}[1]{\| #1 \|}\) \( \newcommand{\inner}[2]{\langle #1, #2 \rangle}\) \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\)\(\newcommand{\AA}{\unicode[.8,0]{x212B}}\)

    Character Literal

    This refers to the literals that are used to store a single character within a single quote. To store multiple characters, one needs to use a character array. Storing more than one character within a single quote will throw a warning and displays just the last character of the literal. It gives rise to the following two representations:

    • char type: This used to store normal character literal or the narrow-character literals. This is supported by both C and C++.


      // For C++
      char chr = 'G';
    • wchar_t type: This literal is supported only in C++ and not in C. If the character is followed by L, then the literal needs to be stored in wchar_t. This represents wide-character literal.


      // For C++
      wchar_t chr = L'G';


    #include <iostream>
    using namespace std;
    int main()
    {   // constant char literal
        const char charVal = 'A';
        // wide char literal
        const wchar_t charVal1 = L'A';
        cout << "Character Literal: " << charVal << "\n";
        cout << "Wide_Character Literal: " << charVal1 << "\n";
        return 0;


    Character Literal: A

    Escape Sequences: There are various special characters that one can use to perform various operations.

    Adapted from:
    "Types of Literals in C/C++ with Examples" by Chinmoy Lenka, Geeks for Geeks

    This page titled 4.4.3: Literals and Constants - Characters is shared under a CC BY-SA license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Patrick McClanahan.