Converting bool to text in C++


Maybe this is a dumb question, but is there any way to convert a boolean value to a string such that 1 turns to "true" and 0 turns to "false"? I could just use an if statement, but it would be nice to know if there is a way to do that with the language or standard libraries. Plus, I'm a pedant. :)

8/27/2008 2:32:34 AM

Accepted Answer

How about using the C++ language itself?

bool t = true;
bool f = false;
std::cout << std::noboolalpha << t << " == " << std::boolalpha << t << std::endl;        
std::cout << std::noboolalpha << f << " == " << std::boolalpha << f << std::endl;


If you want more than 4 lines of code without any console output, please go to's page talking about std::boolalpha and std::noboolalpha which shows you the console output and explains more about the API.

Additionally using std::boolalpha will modify the global state of std::cout, you may want to restore the original behavior go here for more info on restoring the state of std::cout.

7/27/2018 4:27:48 PM

We're talking about C++ right? Why on earth are we still using macros!?

C++ inline functions give you the same speed as a macro, with the added benefit of type-safety and parameter evaluation (which avoids the issue that Rodney and dwj mentioned.

inline const char * const BoolToString(bool b)
  return b ? "true" : "false";

Aside from that I have a few other gripes, particularly with the accepted answer :)

// this is used in C, not C++. if you want to use printf, instead include <cstdio>
//#include <stdio.h>
// instead you should use the iostream libs
#include <iostream>

// not only is this a C include, it's totally unnecessary!
//#include <stdarg.h>

// Macros - not type-safe, has side-effects. Use inline functions instead
//#define BOOL_STR(b) (b?"true":"false")
inline const char * const BoolToString(bool b)
  return b ? "true" : "false";

int main (int argc, char const *argv[]) {
    bool alpha = true;

    // printf? that's C, not C++
    //printf( BOOL_STR(alpha) );
    // use the iostream functionality
    std::cout << BoolToString(alpha);
    return 0;

Cheers :)

@DrPizza: Include a whole boost lib for the sake of a function this simple? You've got to be kidding?

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