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C++ Primer Plus by Stephen Prata

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The char Type: Characters and Small Integers

It’s time to turn to the final integer type: char. As you probably suspect from its name, the char type is designed to store characters, such as letters and numeric digits. Now, whereas storing numbers is no big deal for computers, storing letters is another matter. Programming languages take the easy way out by using number codes for letters. Thus, the char type is another integer type. It’s guaranteed to be large enough to represent the entire range of basic symbols—all the letters, digits, punctuation, and the like—for the target computer system. In practice, many systems support fewer than 128 kinds of characters, so a single byte can represent the whole range. Therefore, although char is most ...

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