C++ Primer Plus

Stephen Prata  
Total pages
October 2011
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C++ Primer Plus
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C++ Primer Plus is an approachable yet technically rigorous guide to C++ for programmers new to the language. This new edition updates it with the most important features added to the C++11 standard, while keeping the style and approach which have made the previous editions so popular. It contains extensive new code samples and exercises, for both classroom use and self-study.


  • New coverage of the C++11 standard
  • Teaches fundamentals of programming including principles of structured code and top-down design
  • Written in a friendly and engaging style, yet completely technically accurate
  • Instructor resources available through the IRC: solutions to end of chapter programming exercises and source code for the book's examples

New to this Edition

This edition, complete with new exercises and updated examples, covers the latest and most useful language enhancements, as well expanded coverage of the STL and a look ahead to features, such as multithreading, introduced in the new C++11 standard. It also contains instructor resources available through the IRC: solutions to the end of chapter programming exercises and source code for the book's examples.

Table of Contents

C++ Primer Plus, Sixth Edition
New C++11 Coverage

Chapter 1: Getting Started with C++

Learning C++: What Lies Before You

The Origins of C++: A Little History

Portability and Standards

The Mechanics of Creating a Program

Chapter 2: Setting Out to C++

C++ Initiation

C++ Statements

More C++ Statements


Chapter 3: Dealing with Data

Simple Variables

The const Qualifier

Floating-Point Numbers

C++ Arithmetic Operators

Chapter 4: Compound Types

Introducing Arrays


Introducing the string Class

Introducing Structures



Pointers and the Free Store

Pointers, Arrays, and Pointer Arithmetic

Combinations of Types

Array Alternatives

Chapter 5: Loops and Relational Expressions

Introducing for Loops

The while Loop

The do while Loop

The Range-Based for Loop (C++11)

Loops and Text Input

Nested Loops and Two-Dimensional Arrays

Chapter 6: Branching Statements and Logical Operators

The if Statement

Logical Expressions

The cctype Library of Character Functions

The ?: Operator

The switch Statement

The break and continue Statements

Number-Reading Loops

Simple File Input/Output

Chapter 7: Functions: C++’s Programming Modules

Function Review

Function Arguments and Passing by Value

Functions and Arrays

Functions and Two-Dimensional Arrays

Functions and C-Style Strings

Functions and Structures

Functions and string Class Objects

Functions and array Objects


Pointers to Functions

Chapter 8: Adventures in Functions

C++ Inline Functions

Reference Variables

Default Arguments

Function Overloading

Function Templates

Chapter 9: Memory Models and Namespaces

Separate Compilation

Storage Duration, Scope, and Linkage


Chapter 10: Objects and Classes

Procedural and Object-Oriented Programming

Abstraction and Classes

Class Constructors and Destructors

Knowing Your Objects: The this Pointer

An Array of Objects

Class Scope

Abstract Data Types

Chapter 11: Working with Classes

Operator Overloading

Time on Our Hands: Developing an Operator Overloading Example

Introducing Friends

Overloaded Operators: Member Versus Nonmember Functions

More Overloading: A Vector Class

Automatic Conversions and Type Casts for Classes

Chapter 12: Classes and Dynamic Memory Allocation

Dynamic Memory and Classes

The New, Improved String Class

Things to Remember When Using new in Constructors

Observations About Returning Objects

Using Pointers to Objects

Reviewing Techniques

A Queue Simulation

Chapter 13: Class Inheritance

Beginning with a Simple Base Class

Inheritance: An Is-a Relationship

Polymorphic Public Inheritance

Static and Dynamic Binding

Access Control: protected

Abstract Base Classes

Inheritance and Dynamic Memory Allocation

Class Design Review

Chapter 14: Reusing Code in C++

Classes with Object Members

Private Inheritance

Multiple Inheritance

Class Templates

Chapter 15: Friends, Exceptions, and More


Nested Classes


Runtime Type Identification

Type Cast Operators

Chapter 16: The string Class and the Standard Template Library

The string Class

Smart Pointer Template Classes

The Standard Template Library

Generic Programming

Function Objects (a.k.a. Functors)


Other Libraries

Chapter 17: Input, Output, and Files

An Overview of C++ Input and Output

Output with cout

Input with cin

File Input and Output

Incore Formatting

Chapter 18: Visiting with the New C++ Standard

C++11 Features Revisited

Move Semantics and the Rvalue Reference

New Class Features

Lambda Functions


Variadic Templates

More C++11 Features

Language Change

What Now?


A Number Bases

B C++ Reserved Words

C The ASCII Character Set

D Operator Precedence

E Other Operators

F The stringTemplate Class

G The Standard Template Library Methods and Functions

H Selected Readings and Internet Resources

I Converting to ISO Standard C++

J Answers to Chapter Reviews

Back Cover

C++ Primer Plus, Sixth Edition

New C++11 Coverage

C++ Primer Plus
is a carefully crafted, complete tutorial on one of the most significant and widely used programming languages today. An accessible and easy-to-use self-study guide, this book is appropriate for both serious students of programming as well as developers already proficient in other languages.

The sixth edition of C++ Primer Plus has been updated and expanded to cover the latest developments in C++, including a detailed look at the new C++11 standard.

Author and educator Stephen Prata has created an introduction to C++ that is instructive, clear, and insightful. Fundamental programming concepts are explained along with details of the C++ language. Many short, practical examples illustrate just one or two concepts at a time, encouraging readers to master new topics by immediately putting them to use.

Review questions and programming exercises at the end of each chapter help readers zero in on the most critical information and digest the most difficult concepts.

In C++ Primer Plus, you’ll find depth, breadth, and a variety of teaching techniques and tools to enhance your learning:
  • A new detailed chapter on the changes and additional capabilities introduced in the C++11 standard
  • Complete, integrated discussion of both basic C language and additional C++ features
  • Clear guidance about when and why to use a feature
  • Hands-on learning with concise and simple examples that develop your understanding a concept or two at a time
  • Hundreds of practical sample programs
  • Review questions and programming exercises at the end of each chapter to test your understanding
  • Coverage of generic C++ gives you the greatest possible flexibility
  • Teaches the ISO standard, including discussions of templates, the Standard Template Library, the string class, exceptions, RTTI, and namespaces


Stephen Prata taught astronomy, physics, and computer science at the College of Marin in Kentfield, California. He received his B.S. from the California Institute of Technology and his Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley. He has authored or coauthored more than a dozen books on programming topics including New C Primer Plus, which received the Computer Press Association’s 1990 Best How-to Computer Book Award, and C++ Primer Plus, nominated for the Computer Press Association’s Best How-to Computer Book Award in 1991.