In C++, there are three distinct character types:
If you are using character types for text, use the unqualified
- it is the type of character literals like
'0'(in C++ only, in C their type is
- it is the type that makes up C strings like
It also works out as a number value, but it is unspecified whether that value is treated as signed or unsigned. Beware character comparisons through inequalities – although if you limit yourself to ASCII (0-127) you’re just about safe.
If you are using character types as numbers, use:
signed char, which gives you at least the -127 to 127 range. (-128 to 127 is common)
unsigned char, which gives you at least the 0 to 255 range.
“At least”, because the C++ standard only gives the minimum range of values that each numeric type is required to cover.
sizeof (char) is required to be 1 (i.e. one byte), but a byte could in theory be for example 32 bits.
sizeof would still be report its size as
1 – meaning that you could have
sizeof (char) == sizeof (long) == 1.