Pascal - File Handling

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Pascal treats a file as a sequence of components, which must be of uniform type. A file's type is determined by the type of the components. File data type is defined as:

type
file-name = file of base-type;

Where, the base-type indicates the type of the components of the file. The base type could be anything like, integer, real, Boolean, enumerated, subrange, record, arrays and sets except another file type. Variables of a file type are created using the var declaration:

var
f1, f2,...: file-name;

Following are some examples of defining some file types and file variables:

type
   rfile = file of real;
   ifile = file of integer;
   bfile = file of boolean;
   datafile = file of record
   arrfile = file of array[1..4] of integer;
var
   marks: arrfile;
   studentdata: datafile;
   rainfalldata: rfile;
   tempdata: ifile;
   choices: bfile;

Creating and Writing to a File

Let us write a program that would create a data file for students' records. It would create a file named students.dat and write a student's data into it:

program DataFiles;
type
   StudentRecord = Record
      s_name: String;
      s_addr: String;
      s_batchcode: String;
   end;
var
   Student: StudentRecord;
   f: file of StudentRecord;

begin
   Assign(f,'students.dat');
   Rewrite(f);
   Student.s_name := 'John Smith';
   Student.s_addr := 'United States of America';
   Student.s_batchcode := 'Computer Science';
   Write(f,Student);
   Close(f);
end.

When compiled and run, the program would create a file named students.dat into the working directory. You can open the file using a text editor, like notepad, to look at John Smith's data.

Reading from a File

We have just created and written into a file named students.dat. Now, let us write a program that would read the student's data from the file:

program DataFiles;
type
   StudentRecord = Record
      s_name: String;
      s_addr: String;
      s_batchcode: String;
   end;
var
   Student: StudentRecord;
   f: file of StudentRecord;
begin
   assign(f, 'students.dat');
   reset(f); 
   while not eof(f) do
   begin
      read(f,Student);
      writeln('Name: ',Student.s_name);
      writeln('Address: ',Student.s_addr);
      writeln('Batch Code: ', Student.s_batchcode);
   end;
   close(f);
end.

When the above code is compiled and executed, it produces the following result:

Name: John Smith
Address: United States of America
Batch Code: Computer Science

Files as Subprogram Parameter

Pascal allows file variables to be used as parameters in standard and user-defined subprograms. The following example illustrates this concept. The program creates a file named rainfall.txt and stores some rainfall data. Next, it opens the file, reads the data and computes the average rainfall.

Please note that, if you use a file parameter with subprograms, it must be declared as a var parameter.

program addFiledata;
const
   MAX = 4;
type
   raindata = file of real;
var
   rainfile: raindata;
   filename: string;
procedure writedata(var f: raindata);
var
   data: real;
   i: integer;
begin
   rewrite(f, sizeof(data));
   for i:=1 to MAX do
   begin
      writeln('Enter rainfall data: ');
      readln(data);
      write(f, data);
   end;
   close(f);
end;

procedure computeAverage(var x: raindata);
var
   d, sum: real;
   average: real;
begin
   reset(x);
   sum:= 0.0;
   while not eof(x) do
   begin
      read(x, d);
      sum := sum + d;
   end;
   average := sum/MAX;
   close(x);
   writeln('Average Rainfall: ', average:7:2);
end;
begin
   writeln('Enter the File Name: ');
   readln(filename);
   assign(rainfile, filename);
   writedata(rainfile);
   computeAverage(rainfile);
end.

When the above code is compiled and executed, it produces the following result:

Enter the File Name:
rainfall.txt
Enter rainfall data:
34
Enter rainfall data:
45
Enter rainfall data:
56
Enter rainfall data:
78
Average Rainfall: 53.25

Text Files

A text file, in Pascal, consists of lines of characters where each line is terminated with an end-of-line marker. You can declare and define such files as:

type
file-name = text;

Difference between a normal file of characters and a text file is that a text file is divided into lines, each terminated by a special end-of-line marker, automatically inserted by the system. The following example creates and writes into a text file named contact.txt:

program exText;
var
   filename, data: string;
   myfile: text;
begin
   writeln('Enter the file name: ');
   readln(filename);
   assign(myfile, filename);
   rewrite(myfile);
   writeln(myfile, 'Note to Students: ');
   writeln(myfile, 'For details information on Pascal Programming');
   writeln(myfile, 'Contact: Tutorials Point');
   writeln('Completed writing'); 
   close(myfile);
end.

When the above code is compiled and executed, it produces the following result:

Enter the file name:
contact.txt 
Completed writing

Appending to a File

Appending to a file means writing to an existing file that already has some data without overwriting the file. The following program illustrates this:

program exAppendfile;
var
   myfile: text;
   info: string;
begin
   assign(myfile, 'contact.txt');
   append(myfile);
   writeln('Contact Details');
   writeln('webmaster@tutorialspoint.com');
   close(myfile);
   (* let us read from this file *)
   assign(myfile, 'contact.txt');
   reset(myfile);
   while not eof(myfile) do
   begin
      readln(myfile, info);
      writeln(info);
   end;
   close(myfile);
end.

When the above code is compiled and executed, it produces the following result:

Contact Details
webmaster@tutorialspoint.com
Note to Students:
For details information on Pascal Programming
Contact: Tutorials Point

File Handling Functions

Free Pascal provides the following functions/procedures for file handling:

S.NFunction Name & Description
1procedure Append( var t: Text );
Opens a file in append mode
2procedure Assign( out f: file; const Name: );
Assigns a name to a file
3procedure Assign( out f: file; p: PChar );
Assigns a name to a file
4procedure Assign( out f: file; c: Char );
Assigns a name to a file
5procedure Assign( out f: TypedFile; const Name: );
Assigns a name to a file
6procedure Assign( out f: TypedFile; p: PChar );
Assigns a name to a file
7 procedure Assign( out f: TypedFile; c: Char );
Assigns a name to a file
8procedure Assign( out t: Text; const s: );
Assigns a name to a file
9procedure Assign( out t: Text; p: PChar );
Assigns a name to a file
10procedure Assign( out t: Text; c: Char );
Assigns a name to a file
11procedure BlockRead( var f: file; var Buf; count: Int64; var Result: Int64 );
Reads data from a file into memory
12procedure BlockRead( var f: file; var Buf; count: LongInt; var Result: LongInt );
Reads data from a file into memory
13procedure BlockRead( var f: file; var Buf; count: Cardinal; var Result: Cardinal );
Reads data from a file into memory
14procedure BlockRead( var f: file; var Buf; count: Word; var Result: Word );
Reads data from a file into memory
15procedure BlockRead( var f: file; var Buf; count: Word; var Result: Integer );
Reads data from a file into memory
16procedure BlockRead( var f: file; var Buf; count: Int64 );
Reads data from a file into memory
17procedure BlockWrite( var f: file; const Buf; Count: Int64; var Result: Int64 );
Writes data from memory to a file
18procedure BlockWrite( var f: file; const Buf; Count: LongInt; var Result: LongInt );
Writes data from memory to a file
19procedure BlockWrite( var f: file; const Buf; Count: Cardinal; var Result: Cardinal );
Writes data from memory to a file
20 procedure BlockWrite( var f: file; const Buf; Count: Word; var Result: Word );
Writes data from memory to a file
21procedure BlockWrite( var f: file; const Buf; Count: Word; var Result: Integer );
Writes data from memory to a file
22procedure BlockWrite( var f: file; const Buf; Count: LongInt );
Writes data from memory to a file
23procedure Close( var f: file );
Closes a file
24procedure Close( var t: Text );
Closes a file
25function EOF( var f: file ):Boolean;
Checks for end of file
26function EOF( var t: Text ):Boolean;
Checks for end of file
27function EOF: Boolean;
Checks for end of file
28function EOLn( var t: Text ):Boolean;
Checks for end of line
29function EOLn: Boolean;
Checks for end of line
30procedure Erase( var f: file );
Deletes file from disk
31procedure Erase( var t: Text );
Deletes file from disk
32function FilePos( var f: file ):Int64;
Position in file
33function FileSize( var f: file ):Int64;
Size of file
34procedure Flush( var t: Text );
Writes file buffers to disk
35function IOResult: Word;
Returns result of last file IO operation
36procedure Read( var F: Text; Args: Arguments );
Reads from file into variable
37procedure Read( Args: Arguments );
Reads from file into variable
38 procedure ReadLn( var F: Text; Args: Arguments );
Reads from file into variable and goto next line
39procedure ReadLn( Args: Arguments );
Reads from file into variable and goto next line
40procedure Rename( var f: file; const s: );
Renames file on disk
41procedure Rename( var f: file; p: PChar );
Renames file on disk
42procedure Rename( var f: file; c: Char );
Renames file on disk
43procedure Rename( var t: Text; const s: );
Rename file on disk
44procedure Rename( var t: Text; p: PChar );
Renames file on disk
45procedure Rename( var t: Text; c: Char );
Renames file on disk
46procedure Reset( var f: file; l: LongInt );
Opens file for reading
47procedure Reset( var f: file );
Opens file for reading
48procedure Reset( var f: TypedFile );
Opens file for reading
49procedure Reset( var t: Text );
Opens file for reading
50procedure Rewrite( var f: file; l: LongInt );
Opens file for writing
51procedure Rewrite( var f: file );
Opens file for writing
52procedure Rewrite( var f: TypedFile );
Opens file for writing
53procedure Rewrite( var t: Text );
Opens file for writing
54procedure Seek( var f: file; Pos: Int64 );
Sets file position
55function SeekEOF( var t: Text ):Boolean;
Sets file position to end of file
56function SeekEOF: Boolean;
Sets file position to end of file
57function SeekEOLn( var t: Text ):Boolean;
Sets file position to end of line
58function SeekEOLn: Boolean;
Sets file position to end of line
59procedure SetTextBuf( var f: Text; var Buf );
Sets size of file buffer
60procedure SetTextBuf( var f: Text; var Buf; Size: SizeInt );
Sets size of file buffer
61procedure Truncate( var F: file );
Truncate the file at position
62procedure Write( Args: Arguments );
Writes variable to file
63procedure Write( var F: Text; Args: Arguments );
Write variable to file
64procedure Writeln( Args: Arguments );
Writes variable to file and append newline
65procedure WriteLn( var F: Text; Args: Arguments );
Writes variable to file and append newline


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