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Everything You Need To Know About The Copy Assignment Operator In C++ Classes

Everything You Need To Know About The Copy Assignment Operator In C++ Classes

Classes and Objects are part of object-oriented methods and typically provide features such as properties and methods. One of the great features of an object orientated language like C++ is a copy assignment operator that is used with operator= to create a new object from an existing one. In this post, we explain what a copy assignment operator is and its types in usage with some C++ examples.

What is a copy assignment operator in C++?

The Copy Assignment Operator in a class is a non-template non-static member function that is declared with the operator=. When you create a class or a type that is copy assignable (that you can copy with the = operator symbol), it must have a public copy assignment operator. Here is a simple syntax for the typical declaration of a copy assignment operator which is defaulted:

Syntax (Since C++11).

Here is an example in a class.

Is there a simple example of using the copy assignment operator in C++?

The forced copy assignment operator is default in any class declarations. This means you don’t need to declare it as above. Let’s give examples without using it.

Let’s give a simple C++ example to copy assignment operator with default option, here is a simple class:

Because this is default in any class declaration, and it is automatically declared. This class is same as below.

And here is how you can use this “=” copy assignment operator with both class examples above.

now let’s see different usage types in C++,

1. Typical Declaration of A Copy Assignment Operator with Swap

2. Typical Declaration of A Copy Assignment Operator ( No Swap)

3. Forced Copy Assignment Operator

4. Avoiding Implicit Copy Assignment

5. Implicitly-declared copy assignment operator

6. Deleted implicitly declared copy assignment operator

7. Trivial copy assignment operator

8. Eligible copy assignment operator

9. Implicitly-defined copy assignment operator

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About author

Dr. Yilmaz Yoru has 35+ years of coding with more than 30+ programming languages, mostly C++ on Windows, Android, Mac-OS, iOS, Linux, and some other operating systems. He graduated and received his MSc and PhD degrees from the Department of Mechanical Engineering of Eskisehir Osmangazi University. He is the founder and CEO of ESENJA LLC Company. His interests are Programming, Thermodynamics, Fluid Mechanics, Artificial Intelligence, 2D & 3D Designs, and high-end innovations.
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