Thursday, June 07, 2007

Name Abbreviation Program in C++

In this article, we are going to design a program that abbreviates the first and middle name leaving the last name as it is.

Suppose if the user inputs the following name: William Henry Gates

Then the output of the program would be: W. H. Gates

Without further a due I present you with the Steps:-

  1. We have declared two character arrays (strings), name[4] and abname[30], which stores the name input by the user and abbreviated name respectively.
  2. Suppose if the user inputs the following name: William Henry Gates Then the two arrays would have the following values: Name[40]="William Henry Gates" (unchanged) Abname[30]=EMPTY
  3. The next step is to store the first character of the array name[40] to the abname[30] array and put a dot (.) and a space( ) after it.
  4. Next, we set-up a loop which finds space in the array name[40] (space separates first, middle and last names). As soon as a space is detected the character immediately after the space is stored to the abname[30] array, followed by a dot (.) and a space. Now the two arrays have these values: Name[40]=”William Henry Gates” (unchanged) Abname[30]="W. H. "
  5. Now that we have abbreviated the first and middle name, we need to store the last name as it is. For this, we again search for a space, as it is found, the control goes to the while loop where the whole of the last name is copied to the abname[30] array. Now the two arrays have the following values: Name[40]=”William Henry Gates” (unchanged) Abname[30]="W. H. Gates"


   //C++ program to abbreviate first and middle name
   void main(void)
   char name[40];
   char abname[30];
   int i,len,m=1,j=0;
   //puts is used to print string of characters
   //although cout is equivalent to it but gets
   //and cout should not be mixed in one program
   puts("Enter Name: ");
   //gets is used to take string input with spaces
   //strlen is a built-in function, declared in
   //the string.h header file
   //it returns the length of a string
   abname[j++]=' ';
   for (i=0;i<len;i++)
     if(name[i]==' ')
     if(m==1)//check to see if it is the
     //middle name
       abname[j++]=' ';
       m=0;//middle name has been fetched
     else//if it is not the middle name
       //copy characters until the end of
       //the string is reached which is
       //represented by the \0 constant
   abname[j++]='\0';//put the end of string constant
   puts("Abbreviated Name: ");

Although this program has little or no use as it is, I don’t think there is any harm in learning how things are done.

You may also incorporate this in other programs where you need to do such abbreviations.

Hope this helps…


  1. Tomorrow I have my C Practical and this is the solution that I was looking for. Thanks and it works flawlessly. Although I don't think the space after "." is required. Thanks a lot. I'll be following your blog from now on....just as soon as I figure out how to.

  2. @ Pheroze

    Thank you, it's my pleasure that the article helped you.


  3. @ Pheroze

    One more thing btw, you can follow my blog by going to my blog's homepage and clicking on "Follow This Blog" link on the sidebar.

    Thank You


You are free to comment anything, although you can comment as 'Anonymous' it is strongly recommended that you supply your name. Thank You.

Please don't use abusive language.