Eternal Learner Eternal Learner - 1 year ago 237
C Question

How to read a line from a text file in c/c++?

After exhaustive googling and visiting many forums, I am yet to find a good comprehensive answer for this question. A lot of the forums suggest using the get line

istream& getline (char* s, streamsize n )
function. My question is what if I don't know what the length of each line is and cannot predict what the size may be? Also what is it's equivalent in C?

Is there any specific function in c /c++ to read one single line each time from a text file ?

Explanation , with Code snippets will help me a lot.

Answer Source

In c, you could use fopen, and getch. Usually, if you can't be exactly sure of the length of the longest line, you could allocate a large buffer (e.g. 8kb) and almost be guaranteed of getting all lines.

If there's a chance you may have really really long lines and you have to process line by line, you could malloc a resonable buffer, and use realloc to double it's size each time you get close to filling it.

#include <stdio.h>
#include <stdlib.h>

void handle_line(char *line) {
  printf("%s", line);

int main(int argc, char *argv[]) {
    int size = 1024, pos;
    int c;
    char *buffer = (char *)malloc(size);

    FILE *f = fopen("myfile.txt", "r");
    if(f) {
      do { // read all lines in file
        pos = 0;
        do{ // read one line
          c = fgetc(f);
          if(c != EOF) buffer[pos++] = (char)c;
          if(pos >= size - 1) { // increase buffer length - leave room for 0
            size *=2;
            buffer = (char*)realloc(buffer, size);
        }while(c != EOF && c != '\n');
        buffer[pos] = 0;
        // line is now in buffer
      } while(c != EOF); 
    return 0;
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