Introduction to the C Preprocessor

The C preprocessor is a special tool created to facilitate the programming of C applications and expedite their execution. This is an important and, at the same time, confusing thing: the C preprocessor is a wholly separate entity from the C language itself. That being said, most C compilers will manage preprocessing for you, so as long as you abide by the proper syntax and understand how the preprocessor functions, working with it can be a relatively seamless process.

The C preprocessor helps you organize your code by providing utilities for

  • Creating reusable snippets of code, called macros

  • Including the contents of one source file during another source file's compilation

  • Providing additional direction to the ...

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