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Table of contents
1.
Introduction 
2.
What is Getch() in C?
2.1.
Syntax of getch() in C
2.2.
Return Value of getch() in C
3.
Example of getch() Function in C
3.1.
C
4.
Why do we use a Getch() in C function?
5.
Implementation of Getch in C
5.1.
C
5.2.
C
6.
Exceptions of getch() in C
7.
Important Points Regarding Getch() Method
8.
Frequently Asked Questions
8.1.
What is the full form of getch ()?
8.2.
What is a getch function?
8.3.
What is getch in C?
8.4.
Why Getch() is used?
9.
Conclusion
Last Updated: Mar 27, 2024
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getch() Function in C

Author Rinki Deka
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Introduction 

Hello Ninjas, Welcome back! C is a general-purpose programming language developed by Dennis Ritchie in the 1970s. C is a very efficient and user-friendly language. It has inspired the development of languages like C++, an improvised version of C.  

getch in c

In this article, we will discuss the getch() function in C programming language and the implementation of getch in C with examples. So let's get started with understanding what a getch() function is.

What is Getch() in C?

  • "getch()" in programming languages is a non-standard and pre-defined function. By non-standard, we mean it is not part of the C standard library. It is used in console-based applications to take input from the users. It is used to obtain input from the users.
     
  •  It is included in the <conio.h> header file, which is not included in the standard C library, may be unavailable in all compilers or platforms.
     
  • The getch() function in C is generally used by MS-DOS compilers, such as Turbo C. Let's look at the syntax of getch() function -

Syntax of getch() in C

/*Syntax of getch() function*/
int getch(void);

Return Value of getch() in C

In C programming, the getch() function is used to read a single character from the standard input without displaying it on the screen. It returns the ASCII value of the character read as an integer.

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Example of getch() Function in C

Here's an example of how the getch() function can be used in C to read a single character from the keyboard without displaying it on the screen:

  • C

C

#include <stdio.h>
#include <conio.h>

int main() {
char ch;

printf("Press any key: ");
ch = getch(); // Read a character without displaying it

printf("\nYou pressed: %c\n", ch);

return 0;
}

 

Output:

Output getch()

In this example, the program waits for the user to press any key, captures that key using getch(), and then displays the pressed character on the screen.

Why do we use a Getch() in C function?

The getch() method is required by various c compilers, such as turbo c. In order to read the character and allow us to view the output on the screen, a getch is used to hold the output screen and wait until the user provides any form of input (i.e., until the user presses any key). Getche() and getchar() can also be used to complete this task. Be aware that dev C++ can hold its output screen without the need for the getch() function.

Implementation of Getch in C

getch() is a function in C included in the conio header file. It does not wait for the users to press the "Enter" key after typing the character, unlike functions such as scanf().

Given below is an example showing the implementation of the getch() function in a C programming language in which the program does not take input from the user -  

  • C

C

/*Implementation of getch() function in C*/
#include<conio.h>
void main()
{
int a = 128;
printf(“%d”, a);
getch();
}

Output

Output

Explanation

Let us understand the code step by step

  • In the code above, we have used ”#include<conio.h>” to implement the getch function. 
     
  • “void main()” indicates that the main function here will not return any value.
     
  • In the statement, “int a=128” we have declared an integer named “a,” which stores the value 128.
     
  • “print(“%d”, a)” is used to print the value of integer “a.”
     
  • And finally, “getch()” is used to return the value of the inputted key.
     

Given below is an example showing the implementation of the getch() function in a C programming language in which the program takes the input from the user but the value taken will not be visible -

  • C

C

/*Implementation of getch() function in C*/
#include <stdio.h>
#include <conio.h>

void main()
{
   printf("%c", getch());
}

Output

Output


Explanation

Let us understand the code step by step  

  • In the code above, we have used ”#include<conio.h>” to implement the getch function. 
     
  • In the statement, "printf("%c",getch());" c is the input value that is not visible on the screen.
     
  • While using getch(), the code or program terminates immediately. 

Exceptions of getch() in C

We can use the curses.h header to use the getch() function in programs compiled using the GCC compiler or in Linux systems which provides many of the same functions as the conio.h header. The ncurses library must be installed to use the curses.h header.
One of the first 32-bit operating systems was MS-DOS (Microsoft Disc Operating System). Hence the turbo C compiler was developed for 32-bit platforms. This demonstrates that one mechanism for obtaining input in older operating systems is getch(). Numerous libraries for the C programming language are included in the C standard library, and POSIX (Portable Operating System Interface), a standard with additional features, is also available. 

Important Points Regarding Getch() Method

Given below are a few important points to remember regarding getch() function in C programming language - 

  • getch() method pauses the Output Console until the user presses any key.
     
  • getch() function uses no buffer to store the input value.
     
  • The input character is immediately returned without waiting for the user to press the enter key.
     
  • The input character is not visible on the console.
     
  • We can use the getch() function to accept hidden inputs like passwords.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the full form of getch ()?

The getch() function stands for 'get character'. The name of the function, getch(), makes it clear that it obtains a character from the user. The output screen is often held until the user taps a key using the getch() method.

What is a getch function?

"getch()" in programming languages is a non-standard and pre-defined function included in the conio header file. By non-standard, we mean it is not part of the C standard library. It is used in console-based applications to take input from the users.

What is getch in C?

getch() is a function in C included in the conio header file. It does not wait for the users to press the "Enter" key after typing the character, unlike functions such as scanf(). However, as it is not a part of the standard C library and is not available in all compilers, it is not usually recommended. 

Why Getch() is used?

A getch() is used to hold the output screen and wait until the user provides any form of input in order to read the character and allow us to view the output on the screen.

Conclusion

In conclusion, this article explained the basics of C programming and how the getch() function works. We also provided examples to show how getch() can be used to get user input without showing it on the screen with the help of examples and discussed how it is implemented with proper codes and explainantion. If you want to dig deeper into C programming language, here are some related articles - 

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