Strings and character with printf

If you try this:


void main()
 char name[]="siva";
 printf("name = %p\n", name);
 printf("&name[0] = %p\n", &name[0]);
 printf("name printed as %%s is %s\n",name);
 printf("*name = %c\n",*name);
 printf("name[0] = %c\n", name[0]);

Output is:

name = 0xbff5391b  
&name[0] = 0xbff5391b
name printed as %s is siva
*name = s
name[0] = s

So ‘name’ is actually a pointer to the array of characters in memory. If you try reading the first four bytes at 0xbff5391b, you will see ‘s’, ‘i’, ‘v’ and ‘a’

Location     Data
=========   ======

0xbff5391b    0x73  's'  ---> name[0]
0xbff5391c    0x69  'i'  ---> name[1]
0xbff5391d    0x76  'v'  ---> name[2]
0xbff5391e    0x61  'a'  ---> name[3]
0xbff5391f    0x00  '\0' ---> This is the NULL termination of the string

To print a character you need to pass the value of the character to printf. The value can be referenced as name[0] or *name (since for an array name = &name[0]).

To print a string you need to pass a pointer to the string to printf (in this case ‘name’ or ‘&name[0]’).

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