C Programming Tutorial – Flow Control – II

In the previous lesson, we learned about the flow control structure. We learned about the if-else structures and nested if structures. In this lesson, we will learn about another flow control feature – switch-case.

If-else Construct

Consider a C program for calculator, the user is given a menu with options to choose from.

  1. Add
  2. Subtract
  3. Multiply
  4. Divide

We can write a program using if-else construct for the above problem.

 

#include <stdio.h>
int main()

{

    int choice;

    int a,b,c;

    a = 10;

    b = 20;

    printf (“Enter your choice:);

    if (choice == 1)

        c = a+b;

    if (choice == 2)

        c = a – b;

    if (choice == 3)

        c = a * b;

    else if(choice == 4)

        c = a/b;

    else

    {

        printf(“Wrong input, Try again!);

    }

    getch();

    return 0;

}

The user enter a number and it is matched with if-else blocks and whenever there is a match that block is executed.

The problem with these kind of construct is that when the menu if large, then the if-else construct will be difficult to manage. Also, there are many comparisons – each if block is tested.

Switch-Case

The switch-case is suitable for menu driven C programs. Whenever the program is executed, a menu with number of choices like the example below is presented to the user.

/* Calculator Application in C */

Enter your choice:

  1. Add
  2. Subtract
  3. Multiply
  4. Divide

The switch block look like the following in program source code. The switch block accepts a number as user choice.

When the user enters a number next to an option and the Switch accepts the choice(number).

 

int choice;

Switch (choice)

{

}

The switch () matches the user choice with a list of cases. Each of the cases have number associated with them followed by a colon.

Case 2:

    Statement1;

    break;

Case 3:

    Statement2;

    Statement3;

    break;

When the user choice and the case number matches, the statements from the case is executed and terminated by a break; statement.

The entire switch-case block look like following

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int choice;

scanf(%d”,&choice);

Switch(choice)

{

Case 1:

    Do something;

    break;

Case 2:

    Do something;

    break;

default:

    Do something;

    break;

}

Let’s create an example program using the Switch-Case. We shall write the Calculator program using the Switch-Case.

Flowchart – C Calculator

Flowchart - Switch-Case
Flowchart – Switch-Case

Program Code

/* C Program for a Calculator using Switch-Case */

#include <stdio.h>

int main()

{

    int choice;

    int a, b, c;

    a = 10;

    b = 20;

    printf (“Enter your choice :);

    scanf (%d”, &choice);

Switch (choice)

{

case 1:

     c = a + b;

    break;

case 2:

    c = a - b;

break;

case 3:

    c = a * b;

    break;

case 4:

    c = a / b;

    break;

default:

    printf (“Wrong choice, try again!);

    break;

}

    printf (“Result = %d\n”, c);

getch();

return 0;

}

Output

The output of the program is given below.

Output-Switch-case
Output-Switch-case

 


Bibliography

Balagurusamy, E. 2000. Programming in ANSI C. Tata McGraw-Hill Education,.

Kanetkar, Yashavant. 20 November 2002. Let us C. Bpb Publications.

 

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