Working with String Views

Custom String Classes

Can I use std::string_view with custom string classes?

Abstract art representing computer programming

Yes, std::string_view can be used with custom string classes, but it requires the custom class to provide a compatible interface.

Specifically, the custom string class should offer methods to access the underlying data and size, similar to std::string.


For std::string_view to work with a custom string class, the class should provide:

  • A method to return a pointer to the underlying character data (e.g., data())
  • A method to return the size of the string (e.g., size())

Here is an example of a custom string class that meets these requirements:

#include <iostream>
#include <string_view>

class MyString {
  MyString(const char* str)
    : data_{str} {}

  const char* data() const {
    return data_;

  size_t size() const {
    return std::strlen(data_);

  const char* data_;

int main() {
  MyString myStr{"Hello, World!"};
  std::string_view view{, myStr.size()

  std::cout << "String view: " << view;
String view: Hello, World!

Using with Custom Classes

The above example demonstrates a minimal custom string class compatible with std::string_view. Ensure your custom class methods align with what std::string_view expects: a pointer to character data and the length of the string.


Using std::string_view with custom string classes:

  • Avoids copying strings, enhancing performance
  • Provides a unified interface for accessing string data
  • Leverages the rich functionality of std::string_view


  • Lifetime Management: Ensure the custom string's data outlasts the std::string_view to prevent dangling references.
  • Null-Termination: Custom string classes should handle null-terminated strings carefully if interfacing with C-style functions.
  • Immutability: std::string_view treats the underlying string as immutable. To modify the string, convert it back to your custom class type.


Integrating std::string_view with custom string classes can be highly beneficial.

Ensure your class provides compatible methods, manage lifetimes carefully, and enjoy the performance benefits of using std::string_view in your applications.

Answers to questions are automatically generated and may not have been reviewed.

Free, Unlimited Access

Professional C++

Comprehensive course covering advanced concepts, and how to use them on large-scale projects.

Screenshot from Warhammer: Total War
Screenshot from Tomb Raider
Screenshot from Jedi: Fallen Order
Contact|Privacy Policy|Terms of Use
Copyright © 2024 - All Rights Reserved