Question: Is there a simple way to get the number of characters printed in C++?


Is there a simple way to get the number of characters printed in C++?

Answers 2
Added at 2016-12-29 10:12

printf(...) returns the number of characters output to the console, which I find very helpful in designing certain programs. So, I was wondering if there is a similar feature in C++, since the cout<< is an operator without a return type (at least from what I understand of it).

Answers to

Is there a simple way to get the number of characters printed in C++?

nr: #1 dodano: 2016-12-29 11:12

You can associate your own streambuf to cout to count the characters.

This is the class that wraps it all:

class CCountChars {
    CCountChars(ostream &s1) : m_s1(s1), m_buf(s1.rdbuf()), m_s1OrigBuf(s1.rdbuf(&m_buf)) {}
    ~CCountChars() { m_s1.rdbuf(m_s1OrigBuf); m_s1 << endl << "output " << m_buf.GetCount() << " chars" << endl; }

    CCountChars &operator =(CCountChars &rhs) = delete;

    class CCountCharsBuf : public streambuf {
        CCountCharsBuf(streambuf* sb1) : m_sb1(sb1) {}
        size_t GetCount() const { return m_count; }

        virtual int_type overflow(int_type c) {
            if (streambuf::traits_type::eq_int_type(c, streambuf::traits_type::eof()))
                return c;
            else {
                return m_sb1->sputc((streambuf::char_type)c);
        virtual int sync() {
            return m_sb1->pubsync();

        streambuf *m_sb1;
        size_t m_count = 0;

    ostream &m_s1;
    CCountCharsBuf m_buf;
    streambuf * const m_s1OrigBuf;

And you use it like this:

    CCountChars c(cout);
    cout << "bla" << 3 << endl;

While the object instance exists it counts all characters output by cout.

Keep in mind that this will only count characters output via cout, not characters printed with printf.

nr: #2 dodano: 2016-12-29 11:12

You could create a filtering stream buffer which reports the number of characters written. For example:

class countbuf
    : std::streambuf {
    std::streambuf* sbuf;
    std::streamsize size;
    countbuf(std::streambuf* sbuf): sbuf(sbuf), size() {}
    int overflow(int c) {
        if (traits_type::eof() != c) {
        return this->sbuf.sputc(c);
    int sync() { return this->sbuf->pubsync(); }
    std::streamsize count() { this->size; }

You'd just use this stream buffer as a filter:

int main() {
    countbuf sbuf;
    std::streambuf* orig = std::cout.rdbuf(&sbuf);
    std::cout << "hello: ";
    std::cout << sbuf.count() << "\n";
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