std::string::front() in C++with Examples

This function returns a direct reference to the first character of the string. This shall only be used on non-empty strings.
This can be used to access the first character of the string as well as to insert a character at the start of the string. Length of the string remains same after inserting a character, first character gets replaced by the new one.

Syntax

string str ("GeeksforGeeks");

Accessing first character
char first_char = str.front();

Inserting character at start of string
str.front() = '#';

Parameter: This function takes no parameter

Return value: A reference to the first character in the string

Exception: If the string is empty it shows undefined behavior.

Below examples illustrate the use of the above method:

Program 1:

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// C++ program to demonstrate
// the use of the above method
  
#include <iostream>
  
// for std::string::front
#include <string>
  
using namespace std;
  
int main()
{
    string str("GeeksforGeeks");
  
    // Accessing first character of string
    char first_char = str.front();
  
    cout << "First character of string = "
         << first_char << endl;
  
    // Inserting a character at
    // the start of string
    str.front() = '#';
  
    cout << "New string = " << str << endl;
  
    return 0;
}

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Output:

First character of string = G
New string = #eeksforGeeks



Program 2: It shows undefined behavior when the string is empty.

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// C++ program to demonstrate
// the use of the above method
  
#include <iostream>
  
// for std::string::front
#include <string>
  
using namespace std;
  
int main()
{
    string str(""); // Empty string
  
    // trying to access first character
    // of an empty string
    char first_char = str.front();
  
    cout << "First character of string = "
         << first_char << endl;
  
    // Inserting a character at
    // the start of an empty string
    str.front() = '#';
  
    cout << "New string = " << str << endl;
  
    return 0;
}

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Output:

First character of string = 
New string =

Reference: std::string::front()



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