Lab Sheet 8
Understanding the Concept of Console and File Input/Output
Console Input/Output
Within console we can perform unformatted and formatted input/output. For unformatted input/output stream functions like put(), get(), getline(), write(), read() etc are used. For formatted input/output the stream objects cin and cout are used along with ios functions and flags and manipulators.
The ios functions that can be used for formatting are
  • width()
  • fill()
  • precision()
  • setf()
  • unsetf()
  • flags() etc
However to use the setf(), unsetf() and flags() functions one should know the flags available in ios class.

File Handling

There are three classes for handling files.

  • ifstream - for handling input files
  • ofstream - for handling output files
  • fstream - for handling input as well as output files.

In all three classes, passing a filename as the first parameter in the constructor itself can open a file.

e.g ifstream infile("test.txt") opens the file test.txt in the input mode.

The constructors for all these classes are defined in the header file <fstream>, which are as follows

ifstream( const char *path, int mode=ios::in)

ofstream( const char *path, int mode=ios::out)

fstream( const char *path, int mode=ios::in|ios::out)

where path specifies the file to be opened, mode specifies the mode in which the file is to be opened.

File opening can also be done explicitly by calling the member function open() of the file stream classes. The open() function has similar prototype as the constructors.

After opening, the file contents can be written or read by using the stream operators with the file objects as

ofstream ofile("test.txt");

ofile<<"C++ lab class";

This statement writes "C++ lab class" in the file "test.txt"

Reading and Writing A class Object

The Binary input and output functions read( ) and write are designed  to handle the entire structure of an object as a single unit, using the computer's internal representation of data. The function write copies a class object from memory byte by byte with no conversion.

 Binary output and input functions take the following form<char*>(&obj),sizeof(obj));







using namespace std;

class demofile



     int a;

     int b;



     demofile(int x,int y){a=x;b=y;}

     void display()

     { cout<<"a= "<<a<<endl<<"b= "<<b<<endl;}


int main()


   demofile de(10,20);


   fstream file;"demo.txt",ios::in|ios::out);





   return 0;



1.    Write a program to demonstrate the use of different ios flags and functions to format the output. Create a program to generate the bill invoice of a department store by using different formatting.
2.    Write a program to create a userdefined manipulator that will format the output by setting the width, precision and fill character at the same time by passing arguments.
3.    Write a program to overload stream operators to read complex number and display the complex number in a+ib format.
4.        Write a program that stores the information about students (name, student id,department and address) in a structure and then transfers the information to a file in your directory. Finally, retrieve the information from your  file and print in the proper format on your output screen.
5.        Write a program for transaction processing that write and read object randomly to and from a random access file so that user can add, update, delete and display the account information (accountnumber, lastname, firstname, totalbalance).