pointers - Pointers 1 Pointers A pointer is a variable that...

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1 Pointers
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2 Pointers • A pointer is a variable that contains the address of a variable. Pointers provide a powerful and flexible method for manipulating data in your programs; but they are difficult to master.
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3 Benefits of Pointers Pointers allow you to reference a large data structure in a compact way. Pointers facilitate sharing data between different parts of a program. – Call-by-Reference Pointers make it possible to reserve new memory during program execution.
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4 Pointer Variable Declarations and Initialization Pointer variables Contain memory addresses as their values Normal variables contain a specific value (direct reference) Pointers contain address of a variable that has a specific value (indirect reference) Indirection – referencing a pointer value count 7 count 7 countPtr
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5 Pointer Variable Declarations and Initialization Pointer declarations A pointer declaration takes the following form: type *identifier; e.g. int *myPtr; Declares a pointer to an int (pointer of type int * ) Multiple pointers require using a * before each variable declaration int *myPtr1, *myPtr2; Can declare pointers to any data type Initialize pointers to 0 , NULL , or an address 0 or NULL – points to nothing ( NULL preferred)
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6 Pointer Operators & (address operator) Returns the address of operand int y = 5; int *yPtr; yPtr = &y; // yPtr gets address of y yPtr “points to” y yPtr y 5 yptr 500000 600000 y 600000 5 Address of y is value of yptr
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7 Pointer Operators * (indirection/dereferencing operator)
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