How do you reverse a string in place in C or C++?


Question

How do you reverse a string in C or C++ without requiring a separate buffer to hold the reversed string?

1
168
11/24/2012 3:35:42 AM

Accepted Answer

Evil C:

#include <stdio.h>

void strrev(char *p)
{
  char *q = p;
  while(q && *q) ++q;
  for(--q; p < q; ++p, --q)
    *p = *p ^ *q,
    *q = *p ^ *q,
    *p = *p ^ *q;
}

int main(int argc, char **argv)
{
  do {
    printf("%s ",  argv[argc-1]);
    strrev(argv[argc-1]);
    printf("%s\n", argv[argc-1]);
  } while(--argc);

  return 0;
}

(This is XOR-swap thing. Take care to note that you must avoid swapping with self, because a^a==0.)


Ok, fine, let's fix the UTF-8 chars...

#include <bits/types.h>
#include <stdio.h>

#define SWP(x,y) (x^=y, y^=x, x^=y)

void strrev(char *p)
{
  char *q = p;
  while(q && *q) ++q; /* find eos */
  for(--q; p < q; ++p, --q) SWP(*p, *q);
}

void strrev_utf8(char *p)
{
  char *q = p;
  strrev(p); /* call base case */

  /* Ok, now fix bass-ackwards UTF chars. */
  while(q && *q) ++q; /* find eos */
  while(p < --q)
    switch( (*q & 0xF0) >> 4 ) {
    case 0xF: /* U+010000-U+10FFFF: four bytes. */
      SWP(*(q-0), *(q-3));
      SWP(*(q-1), *(q-2));
      q -= 3;
      break;
    case 0xE: /* U+000800-U+00FFFF: three bytes. */
      SWP(*(q-0), *(q-2));
      q -= 2;
      break;
    case 0xC: /* fall-through */
    case 0xD: /* U+000080-U+0007FF: two bytes. */
      SWP(*(q-0), *(q-1));
      q--;
      break;
    }
}

int main(int argc, char **argv)
{
  do {
    printf("%s ",  argv[argc-1]);
    strrev_utf8(argv[argc-1]);
    printf("%s\n", argv[argc-1]);
  } while(--argc);

  return 0;
}
  • Why, yes, if the input is borked, this will cheerfully swap outside the place.
  • Useful link when vandalising in the UNICODE: http://www.macchiato.com/unicode/chart/
  • Also, UTF-8 over 0x10000 is untested (as I don't seem to have any font for it, nor the patience to use a hexeditor)

Examples:

$ ./strrev Räksmörgås ░▒▓○◔◑◕●

░▒▓○◔◑◕● ●◕◑◔○▓▒░

Räksmörgås sågrömskäR

./strrev verrts/.
122
5/8/2014 10:31:31 AM

#include <algorithm>
std::reverse(str.begin(), str.end());

This is the simplest way in C++.


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