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How to: Convert Between Various String Types 

This topic demonstrates how to convert various Visual C++ string types into other strings. The strings types that are covered include char *, wchar_t*, _bstr_t, CComBSTR, CString, basic_string, and System.String. In all cases, a copy of the string is made when converted to the new type. Any changes made to the new string will not affect the original string, and vice versa.

Converting from char *

Example

This example demonstrates how to convert from a char * to the other string types listed above.

// convert_from_char.cpp
// compile with: /clr /link comsuppw.lib

#include <iostream>
#include <stdlib.h>
#include <string>

#include "atlbase.h"
#include "atlstr.h"
#include "comutil.h"

using namespace std;
using namespace System;

int main()
{
    char *orig = "Hello, World!";
    cout << orig << " (char *)" << endl;

    // Convert to a wchar_t*
    size_t origsize = strlen(orig) + 1;
    const size_t newsize = 100;
    size_t convertedChars = 0;
    wchar_t wcstring[newsize];
    mbstowcs_s(&convertedChars, wcstring, origsize, orig, _TRUNCATE);
    wcscat_s(wcstring, L" (wchar_t *)");
    wcout << wcstring << endl;

    // Convert to a _bstr_t
    _bstr_t bstrt(orig);
    bstrt += " (_bstr_t)";
    cout << bstrt << endl;

    // Convert to a CComBSTR
    CComBSTR ccombstr(orig);
    if (ccombstr.Append(L" (CComBSTR)") == S_OK)
    {
        CW2A printstr(ccombstr);
        cout << printstr << endl;
    }

    // Convert to a CString
    CString cstring(orig);
    cstring += " (CString)";
    cout << cstring << endl;

    // Convert to a basic_string
    string basicstring(orig);
    basicstring += " (basic_string)";
    cout << basicstring << endl;

    // Convert to a System::String
    String ^systemstring = gcnew String(orig);
    systemstring += " (System::String)";
    Console::WriteLine("{0}", systemstring);
    delete systemstring;
}

Output

Hello, World! (char *)
Hello, World! (wchar_t *)
Hello, World! (_bstr_t)
Hello, World! (CComBSTR)
Hello, World! (CString)
Hello, World! (basic_string)
Hello, World! (System::String)

Converting from wchar_t *

Example

This example demonstrates how to convert from a wchar_t * to the other string types listed above.

// convert_from_wchar_t.cpp
// compile with: /clr /link comsuppw.lib

#include <iostream>
#include <stdlib.h>
#include <string>

#include "atlbase.h"
#include "atlstr.h"
#include "comutil.h"

using namespace std;
using namespace System;

int main()
{
    wchar_t *orig = L"Hello, World!";
    wcout << orig << L" (wchar_t *)" << endl;

    // Convert to a char*
    size_t origsize = wcslen(orig) + 1;
    const size_t newsize = 100;
    size_t convertedChars = 0;
    char nstring[newsize];
    wcstombs_s(&convertedChars, nstring, origsize, orig, _TRUNCATE);
    strcat_s(nstring, " (char *)");
    cout << nstring << endl;

    // Convert to a _bstr_t
    _bstr_t bstrt(orig);
    bstrt += " (_bstr_t)";
    cout << bstrt << endl;

    // Convert to a CComBSTR
    CComBSTR ccombstr(orig);
    if (ccombstr.Append(L" (CComBSTR)") == S_OK)
    {
        CW2A printstr(ccombstr);
        cout << printstr << endl;
    }

    // Convert to a CString
    CString cstring(orig);
    cstring += " (CString)";
    cout << cstring << endl;

    // Convert to a basic_string
    wstring basicstring(orig);
    basicstring += L" (basic_string)";
    wcout << basicstring << endl;

    // Convert to a System::String
    String ^systemstring = gcnew String(orig);
    systemstring += " (System::String)";
    Console::WriteLine("{0}", systemstring);
    delete systemstring;
}

Output

Hello, World! (wchar_t *)
Hello, World! (char *)
Hello, World! (_bstr_t)
Hello, World! (CComBSTR)
Hello, World! (CString)
Hello, World! (basic_string)
Hello, World! (System::String)

Converting from _bstr_t

Example

This example demonstrates how to convert from a _bstr_t to the other string types listed above.

// convert_from_bstr_t.cpp
// compile with: /clr /link comsuppw.lib

#include <iostream>
#include <stdlib.h>
#include <string>

#include "atlbase.h"
#include "atlstr.h"
#include "comutil.h"

using namespace std;
using namespace System;

int main()
{
    _bstr_t orig("Hello, World!");
    wcout << orig << " (_bstr_t)" << endl;

    // Convert to a char*
    const size_t newsize = 100;
    char nstring[newsize];
    strcpy_s(nstring, (char *)orig);
    strcat_s(nstring, " (char *)");
    cout << nstring << endl;

    // Convert to a wchar_t*
    wchar_t wcstring[newsize];
    wcscpy_s(wcstring, (wchar_t *)orig);
    wcscat_s(wcstring, L" (wchar_t *)");
    wcout << wcstring << endl;

    // Convert to a CComBSTR
    CComBSTR ccombstr((char *)orig);
    if (ccombstr.Append(L" (CComBSTR)") == S_OK)
    {
        CW2A printstr(ccombstr);
        cout << printstr << endl;
    }

    // Convert to a CString
    CString cstring((char *)orig);
    cstring += " (CString)";
    cout << cstring << endl;

    // Convert to a basic_string
    string basicstring((char *)orig);
    basicstring += " (basic_string)";
    cout << basicstring << endl;

    // Convert to a System::String
    String ^systemstring = gcnew String((char *)orig);
    systemstring += " (System::String)";
    Console::WriteLine("{0}", systemstring);
    delete systemstring;
}

Output

Hello, World! (_bstr_t)
Hello, World! (char *)
Hello, World! (wchar_t *)
Hello, World! (CComBSTR)
Hello, World! (CString)
Hello, World! (basic_string)
Hello, World! (System::String)

Converting from CComBSTR

Example

This example demonstrates how to convert from a CComBSTR to the other string types listed above.

// convert_from_ccombstr.cpp
// compile with: /clr /link comsuppw.lib

#include <iostream>
#include <stdlib.h>
#include <string>

#include "atlbase.h"
#include "atlstr.h"
#include "comutil.h"
#include "vcclr.h"

using namespace std;
using namespace System;
using namespace System::Runtime::InteropServices;

int main()
{
    CComBSTR orig("Hello, World!");
    CW2A printstr(orig);
    cout << printstr << " (CComBSTR)" << endl;

    // Convert to a char*
    const size_t newsize = 100;
    char nstring[newsize];
    CW2A tmpstr1(orig);
    strcpy_s(nstring, tmpstr1);
    strcat_s(nstring, " (char *)");
    cout << nstring << endl;

    // Convert to a wchar_t*
    wchar_t wcstring[newsize];
    wcscpy_s(wcstring, orig);
    wcscat_s(wcstring, L" (wchar_t *)");
    wcout << wcstring << endl;

    // Convert to a _bstr_t
    _bstr_t bstrt(orig);
    bstrt += " (_bstr_t)";
    cout << bstrt << endl;

    // Convert to a CString
    CString cstring(orig);
    cstring += " (CString)";
    cout << cstring << endl;

    // Convert to a basic_string
    wstring basicstring(orig);
    basicstring += L" (basic_string)";
    wcout << basicstring << endl;

    // Convert to a System::String
    String ^systemstring = gcnew String(orig);
    systemstring += " (System::String)";
    Console::WriteLine("{0}", systemstring);
    delete systemstring;
}

Output

Hello, World! (CComBSTR)
Hello, World! (char *)
Hello, World! (wchar_t *)
Hello, World! (_bstr_t)
Hello, World! (CString)
Hello, World! (basic_string)
Hello, World! (System::String)

Converting from CString

Example

This example demonstrates how to convert from a CString to the other string types listed above.

// convert_from_cstring.cpp
// compile with: /clr /link comsuppw.lib

#include <iostream>
#include <stdlib.h>
#include <string>

#include "atlbase.h"
#include "atlstr.h"
#include "comutil.h"

using namespace std;
using namespace System;

int main()
{
    CString orig("Hello, World!");
    wcout << orig << " (CString)" << endl;

    // Convert to a char*
    const size_t newsize = 100;
    char nstring[newsize];
    strcpy_s(nstring, orig);
    strcat_s(nstring, " (char *)");
    cout << nstring << endl;

    // Convert to a wchar_t*
    // You must first convert to a char * for this to work.
    size_t origsize = strlen(orig) + 1;
    size_t convertedChars = 0;
    wchar_t wcstring[newsize];
    mbstowcs_s(&convertedChars, wcstring, origsize, orig, _TRUNCATE);
    wcscat_s(wcstring, L" (wchar_t *)");
    wcout << wcstring << endl;

    // Convert to a _bstr_t
    _bstr_t bstrt(orig);
    bstrt += " (_bstr_t)";
    cout << bstrt << endl;

    // Convert to a CComBSTR
    CComBSTR ccombstr(orig);
    if (ccombstr.Append(L" (CComBSTR)") == S_OK)
    {
        CW2A printstr(ccombstr);
        cout << printstr << endl;
    }

    // Convert to a basic_string
    string basicstring(orig);
    basicstring += " (basic_string)";
    cout << basicstring << endl;

    // Convert to a System::String
    String ^systemstring = gcnew String(orig);
    systemstring += " (System::String)";
    Console::WriteLine("{0}", systemstring);
    delete systemstring;
}

Output

Hello, World! (CString)
Hello, World! (char *)
Hello, World! (wchar_t *)
Hello, World! (_bstr_t)
Hello, World! (CComBSTR)
Hello, World! (basic_string)
Hello, World! (System::String)

Converting from basic_string

Example

This example demonstrates how to convert from a basic_string to the other string types listed above.

// convert_from_basic_string.cpp
// compile with: /clr /link comsuppw.lib

#include <iostream>
#include <stdlib.h>
#include <string>

#include "atlbase.h"
#include "atlstr.h"
#include "comutil.h"

using namespace std;
using namespace System;

int main()
{
    string orig("Hello, World!");
    cout << orig << " (basic_string)" << endl;

    // Convert to a char*
    const size_t newsize = 100;
    char nstring[newsize];
    strcpy_s(nstring, orig.c_str());
    strcat_s(nstring, " (char *)");
    cout << nstring << endl;

    // Convert to a wchar_t*
    // You must first convert to a char * for this to work.
    size_t origsize = strlen(orig.c_str()) + 1;
    size_t convertedChars = 0;
    wchar_t wcstring[newsize];
    mbstowcs_s(&convertedChars, wcstring, origsize, orig.c_str(), _TRUNCATE);
    wcscat_s(wcstring, L" (wchar_t *)");
    wcout << wcstring << endl;

    // Convert to a _bstr_t
    _bstr_t bstrt(orig.c_str());
    bstrt += " (_bstr_t)";
    cout << bstrt << endl;

    // Convert to a CComBSTR
    CComBSTR ccombstr(orig.c_str());
    if (ccombstr.Append(L" (CComBSTR)") == S_OK)
    {
        CW2A printstr(ccombstr);
        cout << printstr << endl;
    }

    // Convert to a CString
    CString cstring(orig.c_str());
    cstring += " (CString)";
    cout << cstring << endl;

    // Convert to a System::String
    String ^systemstring = gcnew String(orig.c_str());
    systemstring += " (System::String)";
    Console::WriteLine("{0}", systemstring);
    delete systemstring;
}

Output

Hello, World! (basic_string)
Hello, World! (char *)
Hello, World! (wchar_t *)
Hello, World! (_bstr_t)
Hello, World! (CComBSTR)
Hello, World! (CString)
Hello, World! (System::String)

Converting from System::String

Example

This example demonstrates how to convert from a System.String to the other string types listed above.

// convert_from_system_string.cpp
// compile with: /clr /link comsuppw.lib

#include <iostream>
#include <stdlib.h>
#include <string>

#include "atlbase.h"
#include "atlstr.h"
#include "comutil.h"
#include "vcclr.h"

using namespace std;
using namespace System;
using namespace System::Runtime::InteropServices;

int main()
{
    String ^orig = gcnew String("Hello, World!");
    Console::WriteLine("{0} (System::String)", orig);

    pin_ptr<const wchar_t> wch = PtrToStringChars(orig);

    // Convert to a char*
    size_t origsize = wcslen(wch) + 1;
    const size_t newsize = 100;
    size_t convertedChars = 0;
    char nstring[newsize];
    wcstombs_s(&convertedChars, nstring, origsize, wch, _TRUNCATE);
    strcat_s(nstring, " (char *)");
    cout << nstring << endl;

    // Convert to a wchar_t*
    wchar_t wcstring[newsize];
    wcscpy_s(wcstring, wch);
    wcscat_s(wcstring, L" (wchar_t *)");
    wcout << wcstring << endl;

    // Convert to a _bstr_t
    _bstr_t bstrt(wch);
    bstrt += " (_bstr_t)";
    cout << bstrt << endl;

    // Convert to a CComBSTR
    CComBSTR ccombstr(wch);
    if (ccombstr.Append(L" (CComBSTR)") == S_OK)
    {
        CW2A printstr(ccombstr);
        cout << printstr << endl;
    }

    // Convert to a CString
    CString cstring(wch);
    cstring += " (CString)";
    cout << cstring << endl;

    // Convert to a basic_string
    wstring basicstring(wch);
    basicstring += L" (basic_string)";
    wcout << basicstring << endl;

    delete orig;
}

Output

Hello, World! (System::String)
Hello, World! (char *)
Hello, World! (wchar_t *)
Hello, World! (_bstr_t)
Hello, World! (CComBSTR)
Hello, World! (CString)
Hello, World! (basic_string)

See Also

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