Sai A Sai A
Updated date Nov 06, 2023
In this blog, we will learn how to convert characters to ASCII values in C. Explore multiple methods, including code examples, explanations, and outputs for each.
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Introduction:

When working with C programming, you often encounter situations where you need to convert a character to its corresponding ASCII value. Understanding how to do this can be essential for various tasks, such as data manipulation, text processing, and encryption algorithms. In this blog post, we will explore multiple methods to convert characters to ASCII in C.

Method 1: Using the %d Format Specifier

To convert a character to its ASCII value in C is by using the %d format specifier with the printf function. This method requires minimal code and is easy to understand. Here's a sample program that demonstrates this approach:

#include <stdio.h>

int main() {
    char character = 'A';
    int asciiValue = character;

    printf("Character: %c\n", character);
    printf("ASCII Value: %d\n", asciiValue);

    return 0;
}

Output:

Character: A
ASCII Value: 65

In this method, we assign the character 'A' to a variable named character. Then, we assign the value of character to an integer variable asciiValue. When we use the %c format specifier, printf will print the character, and when we use the %d format specifier, it will print the ASCII value.

Method 2: Using the ASCII Table

Another way to find the ASCII value of a character is to refer to the ASCII table. ASCII, which stands for the American Standard Code for Information Interchange, is a character encoding standard that assigns a unique number to each character. You can create a custom function to look up the ASCII value based on the character.

#include <stdio.h>

int charToASCII(char character) {
    return (int)character;
}

int main() {
    char character = 'B';

    printf("Character: %c\n", character);
    printf("ASCII Value: %d\n", charToASCII(character));

    return 0;
}

Output:

Character: B
ASCII Value: 66

In this method, we define a custom function called charToASCII, which takes a character as an argument and returns its ASCII value. The function simply typecasts the character to an integer using (int) and returns the result.

Method 3: Using a Switch Statement

If you need to convert a series of characters to their ASCII values, using a switch statement can be a versatile approach. This method allows you to handle different characters and perform specific actions for each case.

#include <stdio.h>

int charToASCII(char character) {
    switch (character) {
        case 'A':
            return 65;
        case 'B':
            return 66;
        case 'C':
            return 67;
        // Add more cases for other characters as needed
        default:
            return -1; // Handle unknown characters
    }
}

int main() {
    char character = 'C';

    printf("Character: %c\n", character);
    int asciiValue = charToASCII(character);

    if (asciiValue != -1) {
        printf("ASCII Value: %d\n", asciiValue);
    } else {
        printf("Unknown character\n");
    }

    return 0;
}

Output:

Character: C
ASCII Value: 67

In this method, we use a switch statement to match the character to its corresponding ASCII value. If the character is found, the switch statement returns the ASCII value. If the character is not recognized, it returns -1 to indicate an unknown character.

Conclusion:

In this blog, we have explored several methods to convert characters to ASCII values in C. Method 1, which uses the %d format specifier with printf, is the simplest and most straightforward method. It is suitable when you only need to convert a single character. Method 2 involves creating a custom function that typecasts the character to an integer. This method is easy to use and can be applied to multiple characters. Method 3 demonstrates using a switch statement for character-to-ASCII conversion. It is useful when you need to handle different characters in a more complex way.

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