C++ Program to Read and Display a File's Content

In this article, you will learn and get code to read and display a file's content using a C++ program. But, before we get started, let's make a text file called codescracker.txt.

Things to Do Before the Program

Since the program given below reads and displays the content of a file entered by the user, As a result, we must create a file called codescracker.txt that contains the following information:

Hello C++
I'm a File
My Name is codescracker.txt

Save the file with this content inside the current directory. The current directory is the directory where your C++ source code to read and display a file's content is saved. The following is a screenshot of the opened codescracker.txt file:

read and display file content c++

And here is the folder, "cpp programs," where the file is saved. In this folder, I'll also save the C++ source code given below to read and display the file's content:

c++ read display file content

Now, let's write a C++ program to read the contents of the file codescracker.txt.

Read and Display a File's Content in C++

To read and display a file's content in C++ programming, you have to ask the user to enter the name of the file along with its extension, say, codescracker.txt.

Now open the file using the open() function. and then read its content in a character-by-character manner. Display the content (character by character) at the time of reading, as shown here in the following program.

The question is: write a program in C++ to read and display the content of a file entered by a user at run-time.  Here is its answer:

#include<iostream>
#include<fstream>
#include<stdio.h>
using namespace std;
int main()
{
    char fileName[30], ch;
    fstream fp;
    cout<<"Enter the Name of File: ";
    gets(fileName);
    fp.open(fileName, fstream::in);
    if(!fp)
    {
        cout<<"\nError Occurred!";
        return 0;
    }
    cout<<"\nContent of "<<fileName<<":-\n";
    while(fp>>noskipws>>ch)
        cout<<ch;
    fp.close();
    cout<<endl;
    return 0;
}

This program was built and runs under the Code::Blocks IDE. Before executing the code, be sure to save this C++ source code in the same folder where you've created or saved your codescracker.txt file. Here is the initial output produced by this program:

C++ program read and display file content

Now supply the name of the newly created file, codescracker.txt, and press ENTER to read its content and display it as shown in the snapshot given below:

c++ display file content

The fstream type variable allows working with files in C++. It is defined in the fstream header file.

The open() function in the preceding program takes one or two arguments.The first argument is "compulsory," which is the filename to be opened.Whereas the second of its arguments is optional, that indicates its opening mode.

The fstream::in file opening mode is used to open the file to read its content only. And the following statement:

fp>>noskipws>>ch

reads data from a file in a character-by-character manner without skipping any white spaces.

You can also use the following block of code to read and display a file's content:

while(!fp.eof())
{
    fp.get(ch);
    cout<<ch;
}

instead of:

while(fp>>noskipws>>ch)
    cout<<ch;

But if you still want the complete program, then here it is, with only two extra changes. That is the condition of both the if and while loops:

#include<iostream>
#include<fstream>
#include<stdio.h>
using namespace std;
int main()
{
    char fileName[30], ch;
    fstream fp;
    cout<<"Enter the Name of File: ";
    gets(fileName);
    fp.open(fileName, fstream::in);
    if(fp==NULL)
    {
        cout<<"\nError Occurred!";
        return 0;
    }
    cout<<"\nContent of "<<fileName<<":-\n";
    while(fp.eof()==0)
    {
        fp.get(ch);
        cout<<ch;
    }
    fp.close();
    cout<<endl;
    return 0;
}

This program does the same job as the previous program. That is, it asks the user to enter the name of any text file to read and display its content on the screen.

The same program in different languages

C++ Quiz


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