Arduino - Character Functions


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All data is entered into computers as characters, which includes letters, digits and various special symbols. In this section, we discuss the capabilities of C++ for examining and manipulating individual characters.

The character-handling library includes several functions that perform useful tests and manipulations of character data. Each function receives a character, represented as an int, or EOF as an argument. Characters are often manipulated as integers.

Remember that EOF normally has the value –1 and that some hardware architectures do not allow negative values to be stored in char variables. Therefore, the character-handling functions manipulate characters as integers.

The following table summarizes the functions of the character-handling library. When using functions from the character-handling library, include the <cctype> header.

S.No. Prototype & Description
1

int isdigit( int c )

Returns 1 if c is a digit and 0 otherwise.

2

int isalpha( int c )

Returns 1 if c is a letter and 0 otherwise.

3

int isalnum( int c )

Returns 1 if c is a digit or a letter and 0 otherwise.

4

int isxdigit( int c )

Returns 1 if c is a hexadecimal digit character and 0 otherwise.

(See Appendix D, Number Systems, for a detailed explanation of binary, octal, decimal and hexadecimal numbers.)

5

int islower( int c )

Returns 1 if c is a lowercase letter and 0 otherwise.

6

int isupper( int c )

Returns 1 if c is an uppercase letter; 0 otherwise.

7

int isspace( int c )

Returns 1 if c is a white-space character—newline ('\n'), space

(' '), form feed ('\f'), carriage return ('\r'), horizontal tab ('\t'), or vertical tab ('\v')—and 0 otherwise.

8

int iscntrl( int c )

Returns 1 if c is a control character, such as newline ('\n'), form feed ('\f'), carriage return ('\r'), horizontal tab ('\t'), vertical tab ('\v'), alert ('\a'), or backspace ('\b')—and 0 otherwise.

9

int ispunct( int c )

Returns 1 if c is a printing character other than a space, a digit, or a letter and 0 otherwise.

10

int isprint( int c )

Returns 1 if c is a printing character including space (' ') and 0 otherwise.

11

int isgraph( int c )

Returns 1 if c is a printing character other than space (' ') and 0 otherwise.

Examples

The following example demonstrates the use of the functions isdigit, isalpha, isalnum and isxdigit. Function isdigit determines whether its argument is a digit (0–9). The function isalpha determines whether its argument is an uppercase letter (A-Z) or a lowercase letter (a–z). The function isalnum determines whether its argument is an uppercase, lowercase letter or a digit. Function isxdigit determines whether its argument is a hexadecimal digit (A–F, a–f, 0–9).

Example 1

void setup () {
   Serial.begin (9600);
   Serial.print ("According to isdigit:\r");
   Serial.print (isdigit( '8' ) ? "8 is a": "8 is not a");
   Serial.print (" digit\r" );
   Serial.print (isdigit( '8' ) ?"# is a": "# is not a") ;
   Serial.print (" digit\r");
   Serial.print ("\rAccording to isalpha:\r" );
   Serial.print (isalpha('A' ) ?"A is a": "A is not a");
   Serial.print (" letter\r");
   Serial.print (isalpha('A' ) ?"b is a": "b is not a");
   Serial.print (" letter\r");
   Serial.print (isalpha('A') ?"& is a": "& is not a");
   Serial.print (" letter\r");
   Serial.print (isalpha( 'A' ) ?"4 is a":"4 is not a");
   Serial.print (" letter\r");
   Serial.print ("\rAccording to isalnum:\r");
   Serial.print (isalnum( 'A' ) ?"A is a" : "A is not a" );

   Serial.print (" digit or a letter\r" );
   Serial.print (isalnum( '8' ) ?"8 is a" : "8 is not a" ) ;
   Serial.print (" digit or a letter\r");
   Serial.print (isalnum( '#' ) ?"# is a" : "# is not a" );
   Serial.print (" digit or a letter\r");
   Serial.print ("\rAccording to isxdigit:\r");
   Serial.print (isxdigit( 'F' ) ?"F is a" : "F is not a" );
   Serial.print (" hexadecimal digit\r" );
   Serial.print (isxdigit( 'J' ) ?"J is a" : "J is not a" ) ;
   Serial.print (" hexadecimal digit\r" );
   Serial.print (isxdigit( '7' ) ?"7 is a" : "7 is not a" ) ;

   Serial.print (" hexadecimal digit\r" );
   Serial.print (isxdigit( '$' ) ? "$ is a" : "$ is not a" );
   Serial.print (" hexadecimal digit\r" );
   Serial.print (isxdigit( 'f' ) ? “f is a" : "f is not a");
   
}

void loop () {

}

Result

According to isdigit:
8 is a digit
# is not a digit
According to isalpha:
A is a letter
b is a letter
& is not a letter
4 is not a letter
According to isalnum:
A is a digit or a letter

8 is a digit or a letter
# is not a digit or a letter
According to isxdigit:
F is a hexadecimal digit
J is not a hexadecimal digit
7 is a hexadecimal digit

$ is not a hexadecimal digit
f is a hexadecimal digit

We use the conditional operator (?:) with each function to determine whether the string " is a " or the string " is not a " should be printed in the output for each character tested. For example, line a indicates that if '8' is a digit—i.e., if isdigit returns a true (nonzero) value—the string "8 is a " is printed. If '8' is not a digit (i.e., if isdigit returns 0), the string " 8 is not a " is printed.

Example 2

The following example demonstrates the use of the functions islower and isupper. The function islower determines whether its argument is a lowercase letter (a–z). Function isupper determines whether its argument is an uppercase letter (A–Z).

int thisChar = 0xA0;

void setup () {
   Serial.begin (9600);
   Serial.print ("According to islower:\r") ;
   Serial.print (islower( 'p' ) ? "p is a" : "p is not a" );
   Serial.print ( " lowercase letter\r" );
   Serial.print ( islower( 'P') ? "P is a" : "P is not a") ;
   Serial.print ("lowercase letter\r");
   Serial.print (islower( '5' ) ? "5 is a" : "5 is not a" );
   Serial.print ( " lowercase letter\r" );
   Serial.print ( islower( '!' )? "! is a" : "! is not a") ;
   Serial.print ("lowercase letter\r");

   Serial.print ("\rAccording to isupper:\r") ;
   Serial.print (isupper ( 'D' ) ? "D is a" : "D is not an" );
   Serial.print ( " uppercase letter\r" );
   Serial.print ( isupper ( 'd' )? "d is a" : "d is not an") ;
   Serial.print ( " uppercase letter\r" );
   Serial.print (isupper ( '8' ) ? "8 is a" : "8 is not an" );
   Serial.print ( " uppercase letter\r" );
   Serial.print ( islower( '$' )? "$ is a" : "$ is not an") ;
   Serial.print ("uppercase letter\r ");
}

void setup () {

}

Result

According to islower:
p is a lowercase letter
P is not a lowercase letter
5 is not a lowercase letter
! is not a lowercase letter

According to isupper:
D is an uppercase letter
d is not an uppercase letter
8 is not an uppercase letter
$ is not an uppercase letter

Example 3

The following example demonstrates the use of functions isspace, iscntrl, ispunct, isprint and isgraph.

  • The function isspace determines whether its argument is a white-space character, such as space (' '), form feed ('\f'), newline ('\n'), carriage return ('\r'), horizontal tab ('\t') or vertical tab ('\v').

  • The function iscntrl determines whether its argument is a control character such as horizontal tab ('\t'), vertical tab ('\v'), form feed ('\f'), alert ('\a'), backspace ('\b'), carriage return ('\r') or newline ('\n').

  • The function ispunct determines whether its argument is a printing character other than a space, digit or letter, such as $, #, (, ), [, ], {, }, ;, : or %.

  • The function isprint determines whether its argument is a character that can be displayed on the screen (including the space character).

  • The function isgraph tests for the same characters as isprint, but the space character is not included.

void setup () {
   Serial.begin (9600);
   Serial.print ( " According to isspace:\rNewline ") ;
   Serial.print (isspace( '\n' )? " is a" : " is not a" );
   Serial.print ( " whitespace character\rHorizontal tab") ;
   Serial.print (isspace( '\t' )? " is a" : " is not a" );
   Serial.print ( " whitespace character\n") ;
   Serial.print (isspace('%')? " % is a" : " % is not a" );
   
   Serial.print ( " \rAccording to iscntrl:\rNewline") ;
   Serial.print ( iscntrl( '\n' )?"is a" : " is not a" ) ;
   Serial.print (" control character\r");
   Serial.print (iscntrl( '$' ) ? " $ is a" : " $ is not a" );
   Serial.print (" control character\r");
   Serial.print ("\rAccording to ispunct:\r");
   Serial.print (ispunct(';' ) ?"; is a" : "; is not a" ) ;
   Serial.print (" punctuation character\r");
   Serial.print (ispunct('Y' ) ?"Y is a" : "Y is not a" ) ;
   Serial.print ("punctuation character\r");
   Serial.print (ispunct('#' ) ?"# is a" : "# is not a" ) ;
   Serial.print ("punctuation character\r");

   Serial.print ( "\r According to isprint:\r");
   Serial.print (isprint('$' ) ?"$ is a" : "$ is not a" );
   Serial.print (" printing character\rAlert ");
   Serial.print (isprint('\a' ) ?" is a" : " is not a" );
   Serial.print (" printing character\rSpace ");
   Serial.print (isprint(' ' ) ?" is a" : " is not a" );
   Serial.print (" printing character\r");
   
   Serial.print ("\r According to isgraph:\r");
   Serial.print (isgraph ('Q' ) ?"Q is a" : "Q is not a" );
   Serial.print ("printing character other than a space\rSpace ");
   Serial.print (isgraph (' ') ?" is a" : " is not a" );
   Serial.print ("printing character other than a space ");
}

void loop () {

}

Result

According to isspace:
Newline is a whitespace character
Horizontal tab is a whitespace character
% is not a whitespace character
According to iscntrl:
Newline is a control character
$ is not a control character
According to ispunct:
; is a punctuation character
Y is not a punctuation character
# is a punctuation character
According to isprint:
$ is a printing character
Alert is not a printing character
Space is a printing character
According to isgraph:
Q is a printing character other than a space
Space is not a printing character other than a space


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