Use of pointers in self-referential structures in C Language

You can define pointers to structures in the same way as you define pointer to any other variable −

struct Books *struct_pointer;

Now, you can store the address of a structure variable in the above defined pointer variable. To find the address of a structure variable, place the ‘&’; operator before the structure’s name as follows −

struct_pointer = &Book1;

To access the members of a structure using a pointer to that structure, you must use the → operator as follows −


Let us re-write the above example using structure 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(, "Nuha Ali"); 
   strcpy( Book1.subject, "C Programming Tutorial");
   Book1.book_id = 6495407;

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

   /* print Book2 info by passing address of Book2 */
   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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