<iostream>

 

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The latest version of this topic can be found at <iostream>.

Declares objects that control reading from and writing to the standard streams. This is often the only header you need to include to perform input and output from a C++ program.

#include <iostream>  
  

The objects fall into two groups:

  • cin, cout, cerr, and clog are byte oriented, performing conventional byte-at-a-time transfers.

  • wcin, wcout, wcerr, and wclog are wide oriented, translating to and from the wide characters that the program manipulates internally.

Once you perform certain operations on a stream, such as the standard input, you cannot perform operations of a different orientation on the same stream. Therefore, a program cannot operate interchangeably on both cin and wcin, for example.

All the objects declared in this header share a peculiar property — you can assume they are constructed before any static objects you define, in a translation unit that includes <iostream>. Equally, you can assume that these objects are not destroyed before the destructors for any such static objects you define. (The output streams are, however, flushed during program termination.) Therefore, you can safely read from or write to the standard streams before program startup and after program termination.

This guarantee is not universal, however. A static constructor may call a function in another translation unit. The called function cannot assume that the objects declared in this header have been constructed, given the uncertain order in which translation units participate in static construction. To use these objects in such a context, you must first construct an object of class ios_base::Init.

Global Stream Objects

cerrSpecifies the cerr global stream.
cinSpecifies the cin global stream.
clogSpecifies the clog global stream.
coutSpecifies the cout global stream.
wcerrSpecifies the wcerr global stream.
wcinSpecifies the wcin global stream.
wclogSpecifies the wclog global stream.
wcoutSpecifies the wcout global stream.

cerr

The object cerr controls output to a stream buffer associated with the object stderr, declared in <cstdio>.

extern ostream cerr;  

Return Value

An ostream object.

Remarks

The object controls unbuffered insertions to the standard error output as a byte stream. Once the object is constructed, the expression cerr.flags & unitbuf is nonzero, and cerr.tie() == &cout.

Example

// iostream_cerr.cpp  
// compile with: /EHsc  
#include <iostream>  
#include <fstream>  
  
using namespace std;  
  
void TestWide( )   
{  
   int i = 0;  
   wcout << L"Enter a number: ";  
   wcin >> i;  
   wcerr << L"test for wcerr" << endl;  
   wclog << L"test for wclog" << endl;     
}  
  
int main( )   
{  
   int i = 0;  
   cout << "Enter a number: ";  
   cin >> i;  
   cerr << "test for cerr" << endl;  
   clog << "test for clog" << endl;  
   TestWide( );  
}  

cin

Specifies the cin global stream.

extern istream cin;  

Return Value

An istream object.

Remarks

The object controls extractions from the standard input as a byte stream. Once the object is constructed, the call cin.tie returns &cout.

Example

In this example, cin sets the fail bit on the stream when it encounters non-numeric characters. The program clears the fail bit and strips the invalid character from the stream to proceed.

// iostream_cin.cpp  
// compile with: /EHsc  
#include <iostream>  
using namespace std;  
  
int main()  
{  
   int x;  
   cout << "enter choice:";  
   cin >> x;  
   while (x < 1 || x > 4)  
   {  
      cout << "Invalid choice, try again:";  
      cin >> x;  
      // not a numeric character, probably  
      // clear the failure and pull off the non-numeric character  
      if (cin.fail())  
      {  
         cin.clear();  
         char c;  
         cin >> c;  
      }  
   }  
}  

clog

Specifies the clog global stream.

extern ostream clog;  

Return Value

An ostream object.

Remarks

The object controls buffered insertions to the standard error output as a byte stream.

Example

See cerr for an example of using clog.

cout

Specifies the cout global stream.

extern ostream cout;  

Return Value

An ostream object.

Remarks

The object controls insertions to the standard output as a byte stream.

Example

See cerr for an example of using cout.

wcerr

Specifies the wcerr global stream.

extern wostream wcerr;  

Return Value

A wostream object.

Remarks

The object controls unbuffered insertions to the standard error output as a wide stream. Once the object is constructed, the expression wcerr.flags & unitbuf is nonzero.

Example

See cerr for an example of using wcerr.

wcin

Specifies the wcin global stream.

extern wistream wcin;  

Return Value

A wistream object.

Remarks

The object controls extractions from the standard input as a wide stream. Once the object is constructed, the call wcin.tie returns &wcout.

Example

See cerr for an example of using wcin.

wclog

Specifies the wclog global stream.

extern wostream wclog;  

Return Value

A wostream object.

Remarks

The object controls buffered insertions to the standard error output as a wide stream.

Example

See cerr for an example of using wclog.

wcout

Specifies the wcout global stream.

extern wostream wcout;  

Return Value

A wostream object.

Remarks

The object controls insertions to the standard output as a wide stream.

Example

See cerr for an example of using wcout.

CString instances in a wcout statement must be cast to const wchar_t*, as shown in the following example.

 
    CString cs("meow");

    wcout <<(const wchar_t*) cs <<endl;  

For more information, see Basic CString Operations.

Header Files Reference
Thread Safety in the C++ Standard Library
iostream Programming
iostreams Conventions

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