Structure in C Language

Structure in C Language
Structure in C Language

Arrays allow to define type of variables that can hold several data items of the same kind. Similarly structure is another user defined data type available in C that allows to combine data items of different kinds.

Structures are used to represent a record. Suppose you want to keep track of your books in a library. You might want to track the following attributes about each book −

  • Title
  • Author
  • Subject
  • Book ID

Defining a Structure

To define a structure, you must use the struct statement. The struct statement defines a new data type, with more than one member. The format of the struct statement is as follows −

struct [structure tag] {

   member definition;
   member definition;
   ...
   member definition;
} [one or more structure variables];

The structure tag is optional and each member definition is a normal variable definition, such as int i; or float f; or any other valid variable definition. At the end of the structure’s definition, before the final semicolon, you can specify one or more structure variables but it is optional. Here is the way you would declare the Book structure −

struct Books {
   char  title[50];
   char  author[50];
   char  subject[100];
   int   book_id;
} book;

Accessing Structure Members

To access any member of a structure, we use the member access operator (.). The member access operator is coded as a period between the structure variable name and the structure member that we wish to access. You would use the keyword struct to define variables of structure type. The following example shows how to use a structure in a program −

#include <stdio.h>
#include <string.h>
 
struct Books {
   char  title[50];
   char  author[50];
   char  subject[100];
   int   book_id;
};
 
int main( ) {

   struct Books Book1;        /* Declare Book1 of type Book */
   struct Books Book2;        /* Declare Book2 of type Book */
 
   /* book 1 specification */
   strcpy( Book1.title, "C Programming");
   strcpy( Book1.author, "Nuha Ali"); 
   strcpy( Book1.subject, "C Programming Tutorial");
   Book1.book_id = 6495407;

   /* book 2 specification */
   strcpy( Book2.title, "Telecom Billing");
   strcpy( Book2.author, "Zara Ali");
   strcpy( Book2.subject, "Telecom Billing Tutorial");
   Book2.book_id = 6495700;
 
   /* print Book1 info */
   printf( "Book 1 title : %s\n", Book1.title);
   printf( "Book 1 author : %s\n", Book1.author);
   printf( "Book 1 subject : %s\n", Book1.subject);
   printf( "Book 1 book_id : %d\n", Book1.book_id);

   /* print Book2 info */
   printf( "Book 2 title : %s\n", Book2.title);
   printf( "Book 2 author : %s\n", Book2.author);
   printf( "Book 2 subject : %s\n", Book2.subject);
   printf( "Book 2 book_id : %d\n", Book2.book_id);

   return 0;
}

When the above code is compiled and executed, it produces the following result −

Book 1 title : C Programming
Book 1 author : Nuha Ali
Book 1 subject : C Programming Tutorial
Book 1 book_id : 6495407
Book 2 title : Telecom Billing
Book 2 author : Zara Ali
Book 2 subject : Telecom Billing Tutorial
Book 2 book_id : 6495700

Structures as Function Arguments

You can pass a structure as a function argument in the same way as you pass any other variable or pointer.

#include <stdio.h>
#include <string.h>
 
struct Books {
   char  title[50];
   char  author[50];
   char  subject[100];
   int   book_id;
};

/* function declaration */
void printBook( struct Books book );

int main( ) {

   struct Books Book1;        /* Declare Book1 of type Book */
   struct Books Book2;        /* Declare Book2 of type Book */
 
   /* book 1 specification */
   strcpy( Book1.title, "C Programming");
   strcpy( Book1.author, "Nuha Ali"); 
   strcpy( Book1.subject, "C Programming Tutorial");
   Book1.book_id = 6495407;

   /* book 2 specification */
   strcpy( Book2.title, "Telecom Billing");
   strcpy( Book2.author, "Zara Ali");
   strcpy( Book2.subject, "Telecom Billing Tutorial");
   Book2.book_id = 6495700;
 
   /* print Book1 info */
   printBook( Book1 );

   /* Print Book2 info */
   printBook( Book2 );

   return 0;
}

void printBook( struct Books book ) {

   printf( "Book title : %s\n", book.title);
   printf( "Book author : %s\n", book.author);
   printf( "Book subject : %s\n", book.subject);
   printf( "Book book_id : %d\n", book.book_id);
}

When the above code is compiled and executed, it produces the following result −

Book title : C Programming
Book author : Nuha Ali
Book subject : C Programming Tutorial
Book book_id : 6495407
Book title : Telecom Billing
Book author : Zara Ali
Book subject : Telecom Billing Tutorial
Book book_id : 6495700
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