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Pointer Conversions (C# Programming Guide)

The following table shows the predefined implicit pointer conversions. Implicit conversions might occur in many situations, including method invoking and assignment statements.

From To

Any pointer type

void*

null

Any pointer type

Explicit pointer conversion is used to perform conversions, for which there is no implicit conversion, by using a cast expression. The following table shows these conversions.

From To

Any pointer type

Any other pointer type

sbyte, byte, short, ushort, int, uint, long, or ulong

Any pointer type

Any pointer type

sbyte, byte, short, ushort, int, uint, long, or ulong

In the following example, a pointer to int is converted to a pointer to byte. Notice that the pointer points to the lowest addressed byte of the variable. When you successively increment the result, up to the size of int (4 bytes), you can display the remaining bytes of the variable.

// compile with: /unsafe

class ClassConvert
{
    static void Main() 
    {
        int number = 1024;

        unsafe 
        {
            // Convert to byte:
            byte* p = (byte*)&number;

            System.Console.Write("The 4 bytes of the integer:");

            // Display the 4 bytes of the int variable:
            for (int i = 0 ; i < sizeof(int) ; ++i)
            {
                System.Console.Write(" {0:X2}", *p);
                // Increment the pointer:
                p++;
            }
            System.Console.WriteLine();
            System.Console.WriteLine("The value of the integer: {0}", number);
        }
    }
}

The 4 bytes of the integer: 00 04 00 00

The value of the integer: 1024

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