CS156

CS156: Intro to C, Part I

Spring 2018

Enter Matters

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CS156: Enter Matters

The Enter Key Matters

The enter key (also called newline) matters. When you type something using the keyboard, you have to press the Enter key at the end.

We tend to ignore the Enter key, because it’s not what we’re interested in. However, it’s still there. We have to deal with it.

The Straightforward Method

When reading characters, make sure that you’ve accounted for the Enter key:

char cmd;           // single-character command
char enter;         // dump the enter key here
double value;

printf("Enter a command: ");
scanf("%c%c", &cmd, &enter);
printf("Now a number: ");
scanf("%lf%c", &value, &enter);

This reads the command into cmd, and reads the Enter key into enter, where it is ignored.

Sometimes You Can Ignore Enter

If all that your program reads are numbers, then you don’t have to worry about the Enter key. That’s because scanf is smart when reading numbers, and skips over leading whitespace (spaces, tabs, and the Enter key).

However, if your program is reading both characters and numbers, then you have to deal with the Enter key.

This Makes it a Bit Easier

Here’s how to avoid having an enter variable:

char cmd;           // single-character command

printf("Enter a command: ");
scanf("%c%*c", &cmd);

Spaces matter, too

Yet Another Way to Do It

Here’s another technique:

char cmd;
printf("Enter a command: ");
scanf(" %c", &cmd);

Don’t Get Space-Happy

Consider this poor code:

char cmd;
printf("Enter a command: ");
scanf(" %c ", &cmd);                // BAD CODE

Modified: 2017-12-08T12:54

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