How easily and quickly can you specify arguments for your program in C++


All programs don’t have a graphical user interface, and even those whom have one can also be called using a shell/bash/batch command in the Terminal of you choice. When you want to use the command line to run a program, most of the time, you can also pass some arguments to the program, and have it do some specific task it is programmed for.


We are going to look at two ways to do such thing in C++ : the “old” native solution and a modern one

Native solution: argc and argv

This is the old and native solution to solve this problem in C++. I say it is an old solution because it is inherited from C language which starts to be a very old language in the history of programming languages.

int main(int argc, char* argv[]) {
for(auto i=0; i< argc; ++i) {
std::cout << argv[i] << std::endl;

Modern solution: Argh!

If you use some more modern technologies in your C++ development environment, then you should at least try this solution to process your command line. Argh! is a header only library, easy to include, either by copy-paste, or via conan into your own build system or into a CMake project. So no problem with that (you can also look at the details on the documentation).

#include <iostream>
#include "argh.h"
int main(int, char* argv[]) {
argh::parser cmdl(argv);
if (cmdl[{ "-v", "--verbose" }])
std::cout << "Verbose, I am.\n";
float scale_factor;
cmdl({"-s", "--scale"}, 1.0f) >> scale_factor; // Use 1.0f as default value

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