C++ Structures

C++ structures provides a way to store many different values in variables of potentially different types under the same name. It makes the program more modular, which is easier to modify because its design makes things more compact. Structures are useful whenever a lot of data needs to be grouped together e.g. they can be used to hold records from a database or to store information about contacts in an address book. In the contacts example, a struct will hold all of the information about a single contact for example name, address, phone number etc.

Defining structures

struct structName {

member definition;
member definition;

} structureVariables;

structName is the name of the entire type of structure which is optional and members are the variables within the struct, structureVariables are one or more structure variables which is optional.

struct Contacts {

char fristName[50];
char lastName[50];
char emailAddress[100];
int age;
int contact_id;


Accessing Structure Members

The dot (.) operator is used to access any member of a structure. Dot operator is used between the structure variable name and the structure member that we are going to access. struct keyword is used to define variables of structure type.

#include <iostream>
#include <cstring>

using namespace std;

struct Contacts {

char firstName[50];
char lastName[50];
char emailAddress[100];
int age;
int contact_id;


int main( ) {

//Declaring Contact1 of type Contact
struct Contacts Contact1;

strcpy( Contact1.firstName, “Scott”);
strcpy( Contact1.lastName, “Tiger”);
strcpy( Contact1.emailAddress, “tiger@tutorialsgenie.com”);
Contact1.age = 28;
Contact1.contact_id = 1071;

//Printing Contacts
cout << “Contact1 firstName : ” << Contact1.firstName <<endl;
cout << “Contact1 lastName : ” << Contact1.lastName <<endl;
cout << “Contact1 emailAddress : ” << Contact1.emailAddress <<endl;
cout << “Contact1 age : ” << Contact1.age <<endl;
cout << “Contact1 id : ” << Contact1.contact_id <<endl;

return 0;


Output of the above program will be

Contact1 firstName : Scott
Contact1 lastName : Tiger
Contact1 emailAddress : tiger@tutorialsgenie.com
Contact1 age : 28
Contact1 id : 1071

typedef Keyword

The typedef Keyword can be used to define structures.

typedef struct {

char firstName[50];
char lastName[50];
char emailAddress[100];
int age;
int contact_id;


Now Contacts can be used to directly define variables of Contacts type without using struct keyword.

Structures and Unions

A structure is a collection of variables under a single name. These variables can be of different types, and each has a name which is used to select it from the structure. A structure is a convenient way of grouping several pieces of related information together.

Declaring Structures

struct mystruct

int numb;
char ch;


Structure has name mystruct and it contains two variables: an integer named numb and a character named ch.

Declaring structure variable

struct mystruct s1;

Accessing Member Variables





typedef can also be used with structures. The following creates a new type sb which is of type struct chk and can be initialised as usual:

typedef struct chk

char name[50];
int magazinesize;
float calibre;

} sb;

ab arnies={“adam”,30,7};

Unions in C

A union is an object that can hold any one of a set of named members. The members of the named set can be of any data type. Members are overlaid in storage. The storage allocated for a union is the storage required for the largest member of the union, plus any padding required for the union to end at a natural boundary of its strictest member.

union {

char n;
int age;
float weight;

} people;