Subscripting [] operator overloading in C++

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The subscript operator [] is normally used to access array elements. This operator can be overloaded to enhance the existing functionality of C++ arrays.

Following example explain how a subscript operator [] can be overloaded.

Example

#include <iostream>
using namespace std;
const int SIZE = 10;
class safearay
{
   private:
      int arr[SIZE];
   public:
      safearay() 
      {
         register int i;
         for(i = 0; i < SIZE; i++)
         {
           arr[i] = i;
         }
      }
      int &operator[](int i)
      {
          if( i > SIZE )
          {
              cout << "Index out of bounds" <<endl; 
              // return first element.
              return arr[0];
          }
          return arr[i];
      }
};
int main()
{
   safearay A;
   cout << "Value of A[2] : " << A[2] <<endl;
   cout << "Value of A[5] : " << A[5]<<endl;
   cout << "Value of A[12] : " << A[12]<<endl;
   return 0;
}
                                        

When the above code is compiled and executed, Output Will Be :

Example

Value of A[2] : 2
Value of A[5] : 5
Index out of bounds
Value of A[12] : 0
                                        


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