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Variadic Macros


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The latest version of this topic can be found at Variadic Macros. Variadic macros are function-like macros that contain a variable number of arguments.

To use variadic macros, the ellipsis may be specified as the final formal argument in a macro definition, and the replacement identifier __VA_ARGS__ may be used in the definition to insert the extra arguments. __VA_ARGS__ is replaced by all of the arguments that match the ellipsis, including commas between them.

The C Standard specifies that at least one argument must be passed to the ellipsis, to ensure that the macro does not resolve to an expression with a trailing comma. The Visual C++ implementation will suppress a trailing comma if no arguments are passed to the ellipsis.

// variadic_macros.cpp  
#include <stdio.h>  
#define EMPTY  
#define CHECK1(x, ...) if (!(x)) { printf(__VA_ARGS__); }  
#define CHECK2(x, ...) if ((x)) { printf(__VA_ARGS__); }  
#define CHECK3(...) { printf(__VA_ARGS__); }  
#define MACRO(s, ...) printf(s, __VA_ARGS__)  
int main() {  
    CHECK1(0, "here %s %s %s", "are", "some", "varargs1(1)\n");  
    CHECK1(1, "here %s %s %s", "are", "some", "varargs1(2)\n");   // won't print  
    CHECK2(0, "here %s %s %s", "are", "some", "varargs2(3)\n");   // won't print  
    CHECK2(1, "here %s %s %s", "are", "some", "varargs2(4)\n");  
    // always invokes printf in the macro  
    CHECK3("here %s %s %s", "are", "some", "varargs3(5)\n");  
    MACRO("hello, world\n");  
    MACRO("error\n", EMPTY); // would cause error C2059, except VC++   
                             // suppresses the trailing comma  

here are some varargs1(1)  
here are some varargs2(4)  
here are some varargs3(5)  
hello, world  

Macros (C/C++)