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What does LPCWSTR stand for and how should it be handled with?

Posted by: admin November 29, 2017 Leave a comment

Questions:

First of all, what is it exactly? I guess it is a pointer (LPC means long pointer constant), but what does “W” mean? Is it a specific pointer to a string or a pointer to a specific string?
For example I want to close a Window named “TestWindow”.

HWND g_hTest;
LPCWSTR a;
*a = ("TestWindow");
g_hTest = FindWindowEx(NULL, NULL, NULL, a);
DestroyWindow(g_hTest);

The code is illegal and it doesn’t work since const char[6] cannot be converted to CONST WCHAR.
I don’t get it at all.
I want to get a clear understanding of all these LPCWSTR, LPCSTR, LPSTR. I tried to find something , however I got confused even more. At msdn site FindWindowEx is declared as

HWND FindWindowEx(      
    HWND hwndParent,
    HWND hwndChildAfter,
    LPCTSTR lpszClass,
    LPCTSTR lpszWindow
);

So the last parameter is LPCSTR, and the compiler demands on LPCWSTR.
Please help.

Answers:

LPCWSTR stands for “Long Pointer to Constant Wide String”. The W stands for Wide and means that the string is stored in a 2 byte character vs. the normal char. Common for any C/C++ code that has to deal with non-ASCII only strings.=

To get a normal C literal string to assign to a LPCWSTR, you need to prefix it with L

LPCWSTR a = L"TestWindow";

Questions:
Answers:

It’s a long pointer to a constant, wide string (i.e. a string of wide characters).

Since it’s a wide string, you want to make your constant look like: L"TestWindow". I wouldn’t create the intermediate a either, I’d just pass L"TestWindow" for the parameter:

ghTest = FindWindowEx(NULL, NULL, NULL, L"TestWindow");

If you want to be pedantically correct, an “LPCTSTR” is a “text” string — a wide string in a Unicode build and a narrow string in an ANSI build, so you should use the appropriate macro:

ghTest = FindWindow(NULL, NULL, NULL, _T("TestWindow"));

Few people care about producing code that can compile for both Unicode and ANSI character sets though, and if you don’t getting it to really work correctly can be quite a bit of extra work for little gain. In this particular case, there’s not much extra work, but if you’re manipulating strings, there’s a whole set of string manipulation macros that resolve to the correct functions.

Questions:
Answers:

LPCWSTR is equivalent to wchar_t const *. It’s a pointer to a wide character string that won’t be modified by the function call.

You can assign to LPCWSTRs by prepending a L to a string literal: LPCWSTR *myStr = L"Hello World";

LPCTSTR and any other T types, take a string type depending on the Unicode settings for your project. If _UNICODE is defined for your project, the use of T types is the same as the wide character forms, otherwise the Ansi forms. The appropriate function will also be called this way: FindWindowEx is defined as FindWindowExA or FindWindowExW depending on this definition.