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What Is An Assignment Operator In C++?

What Is An Assignment Operator In C++

One of the most commonly used features of C++ software, in common with many programming languages, are assignment operators. These take the form of copy assignment and move assignment operators. In C++, a copy assignment operator can be used with “operator=” to create a new object from an existing one. In this post, we explain assignment operators with copy assignment operator examples in C++.

If you are looking for more information on assignment operators in C or C++, the following post discusses them in depth.

What are classes and objects in C++?

Classes are defined in C++ using the keyword class followed by the name of the class. Classes are the blueprint for the objects, and they are user-defined data types that we can use in our program. Objects are an instantiation of a class, In C++ programming, because it is designed to be strongly object oriented most of the commands are associated with classes and objects, along with their attributes and methods. Here is a simple class example below.

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 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 of a 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.

Is there a full example of how to use the assignment operator in C++?

Here is an example with a copy assignment operator in a class,

Here is the output.

As you see, in Modern C++, we can specialize the “=” operator on what to copy or not, with the 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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