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Pointers

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Pointers fall into two main categories: pointers to objects and pointers to functions. Both types of pointers are special objects for holding memory addresses.

The two pointer categories have distinct properties, purposes, and rules for manipulation, although they do share certain characteristics. Generally speaking, pointers to functions are used to access functions and to pass functions as arguments to other functions; performing arithmetic on pointers to functions is not allowed. Pointers to objects, on the other hand, are regularly incremented and decremented as you scan arrays or more complex data structures in memory.

Although pointers are numbers with most of the characteristics of unsigned integers, they have their own rules and restrictions for assignments, conversions, and arithmetic. The examples in the next few sections illustrate these rules and restrictions.

Note: See Referencing for a discussion of referencing and dereferencing.

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