What are C++ Character Constants?

Character constants are one or more members of the “source character set,” the character set in which a program is written, surrounded by single quotation marks ('). They are used to represent characters in the “execution character set,” the character set on the machine where the program executes. These are sometimes also called character literals.

In C++, A character literal is composed of a constant character. It is represented by the character surrounded by single quotation marks. There are two kinds of character literals −

  •  Narrow-character literals of type char, for example, 'a'
  •  Wide-character literals of type wchar_t, for example, L'a'

The character used for a character literal may be any graphic character, except for reserved characters such as newline ('\n'), backslash ('\'), single quotation mark ('), and double quotation mark ("). Reserved characters are be specified with an escape sequence. 


Live Demo

#include <iostream>
using namespace std;
int main() {
   char newline = '\n';
   char tab = '\t';
   char backspace = '\b';
   char backslash = '\';
   char nullChar = '\0';

   cout << "Newline character: " << newline << "ending" << endl;
   cout << "Tab character: " << tab << "ending" << endl;
   cout << "Backspace character: " << backspace << "ending" << endl;
   cout << "Backslash character: " << backslash << "ending" << endl;
   cout << "Null character: " << nullChar << "ending" << endl;


This gives the output −

Newline character:
Tab character:  ending
Backspace character: ending
Backslash character: \ending
Null character:  ending

Samual Sam
Samual Sam

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Updated on: 11-Feb-2020

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