For example, if loaded a text file into an std::string, did what I needed to do with it, then called clear() on it, would this release the memory that held the text? Or would I be better off just declaring it as a pointer, calling new when I need it, and deleting it when I'm done?
std::string::clear() merely sets the size to zero. The
capacity() won't change (nor will
reserve()ing less memory than currently reserved change the capacity). If you want to reclaim the memory allocated for a string, you'll need to do something along the lines of
Copying the string
str will generally only reserve a reasonable amount of memory and swapping it with
str's representation will install the resulting representation into
str. Obviously, if you want the string to be empty you could use