How To Print In C++

C++ can be a difficult language to get to grips with. It’s more complex than some other languages, but an important language for coders to learn as it is one of the world’s most popular programming languages. 

Whatever stage of the learning process you find yourself in, sooner or later you’re probably going to want to learn how to print a string in C++.

If you find yourself struggling to work out how – don’t panic!

We’re here to help you. In this short guide, we’re going to be taking you through some of the basics of C++ strings and how you can print them.

We’ve also made sure to include a short Frequently Asked Questions section that will help answer anything you might have leftover. 

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How to Print in C++

The first concept to get familiar with before learning how to print in C++, is the idea of ‘strings.’

In short, a C++ string is a variable used to organize a series of characters, usually taking the form of a phrase or word.

There are three main ways to create a sequence of basic characters within C++, but a string is one of the simplest.

Before we can explain how to print a C++ string, let’s first separate the concept into a few different versions.

1. Standard String

is a simplistic list of characters that has no other special properties. 

2. Null Terminated String

you’re most likely to see this called a ‘C-string,’ is a string that consists of an array of characters, usually ending with the ‘null character ‘\0.’ An example of what this might look like on a line of code is:

g o o d b y e \0 – notice the null character at the end. It is however worth noting that the null character doesn’t have to come at the end of the string, and you’ll sometimes find it elsewhere. 

3. C++ String

this is classified as an object that is a member of the standard C++ library. These are usually used to simplify the manipulation of sequences or characters. If you want to use this within your code, you must include the <string> label. 

Printing In C++

Thankfully, C++ has one base way that you can print a string, but there are other ways that you can achieve this. 

Std::cout Object

Std is one of the most popular methods to print a string in C++. ‘std::cout’ is what is known as an ‘object of class.’ Here, it represents the standard output stream that has been created to narrow characters. 

To break that down further, std is an abbreviation of ‘the standard namespace’ that has been created to store objects. ‘Cout’ is an abbreviation of ‘character output.’

So typing ‘std::cout,’ is a way to tell the program that we need to use the cout that already exists within the std namespace. 

With this in mind, in order to print within C++, all we need to do is add a simple line of code, with whatever text you would like embedded within it.

For example:

#include <iostream>
int main()
{std::cout << "C++ is easy!";return 0;}

What would happen if you were to run this code, is that we would see a message come up on the screen containing the text that we added within the lines of the code – C++ is easy! 

So now that we’ve covered std::cout and how we can use it within the program you’re creating, let’s move on to some other functions that can help us. 

System Function

First we’re going to take a look at the system function.

This is located within the standard library of C++. All this function does is pass commands from the processor for execution, then returns those commands once they have been successfully executed.

Using our earlier line of text, it would look something like this:

{system(“echo C++ is easy!\n”) ;}

This would leave you – as before – with the line of text ‘C++ is easy!’ 


The text ‘printf’ is a C function that you can also use within C++ that will allow you to print from a program.

It’s not that different in structure from cout, but as it comes from C, you’re going to have to use a format specifier.

There are multiple format specifiers that printf uses to help you, including %i (that acts as an unsigned decimal integer), %d (a signed decimal integer), and %c (that can be defined as ‘character’). 

Which Is The Best For Me To Use?

Generally, we would suggest using cout to print within C++ because of its simplicity. Printf means that you’ll have to learn and be able to use format specifiers.

If you find yourself overwhelmed by the options, and in having to learn ‘C’ syntax, sticking with cout is going to be much easier.

Final Thoughts

So there you have it! As you can see from the text above, there are a few different ways in which you can print a string with C++, with cout being the easiest version.

We how that this article has given you some insight into the world of printing strings, and that you’re now on your way to getting a bit more familiar with the process.

If you still have some questions, check below for our short FAQ section.

Frequently Asked Questions

Should I Start With Python Or C++? 

Both are great languages that have their own pros and cons, and are more suited for different programming tasks. Generally speaking, python is the more simplistic language and C++ can take some getting used to. Depending on the kinds of programs you’re looking to create, you should choose the language most suited for that! 

What Is An Object In C++?

In short, an object is what we can call an instance of a Class. Object-oriented programming languages such as C++ use these to classify units of code. 

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