using Declaration

The using declaration introduces a name into the declarative region in which the using declaration appears.

Syntax

using [typename] nested-name-specifier unqualified-id ;
using declarator-list ;

Parameters

nested-name-specifier A sequence of namespace, class, or enumeration names and scope resolution operators (::), terminated by a scope resolution operator. A single scope resolution operator may be used to introduce a name from the global namespace. The keyword typename is optional and may be used to resolve dependent names when introduced into a class template from a base class.

unqualified-id An unqualified id-expression, which may be an identifier, an overloaded operator name, a user-defined literal operator or conversion function name, a class destructor name, or a template name and argument list.

declarator-list A comma-separated list of [typename] nested-name-specifier unqualified-id declarators, followed optionally by an ellipsis.

Remarks

A using declaration introduces an unqualified name as a synonym for an entity declared elsewhere. It allows a single name from a specific namespace to be used without explicit qualification in the declaration region in which it appears. This is in contrast to the using directive, which allows all the names in a namespace to be used without qualification. The using keyword is also used for type aliases.

Example

A using declaration can be used in a class definition.

// using_declaration1.cpp
#include <stdio.h>
class B {
public:
   void f(char) {
      printf_s("In B::f()\n");
   }

   void g(char) {
      printf_s("In B::g()\n");
   }
};

class D : B {
public:
   using B::f;    // B::f(char) is now visible as D::f(char)
   using B::g;    // B::g(char) is now visible as D::g(char)
   void f(int) {
      printf_s("In D::f()\n");
      f('c');     // Invokes B::f(char) instead of recursing
   }

   void g(int) {
      printf_s("In D::g()\n");
      g('c');     // Invokes B::g(char) instead of recursing
   }
};

int main() {
   D myD;
   myD.f(1);
   myD.g('a');
}
In D::f()
In B::f()
In B::g()

Example

When used to declare a member, a using declaration must refer to a member of a base class.

// using_declaration2.cpp
#include <stdio.h>

class B {
public:
   void f(char) {
      printf_s("In B::f()\n");
   }

   void g(char) {
      printf_s("In B::g()\n");
   }
};

class C {
public:
   int g();
};

class D2 : public B {
public:
   using B::f;   // ok: B is a base of D2
   // using C::g;   // error: C isn't a base of D2
};

int main() {
   D2 MyD2;
   MyD2.f('a');
}
In B::f()

Example

Members declared by using a using declaration can be referenced by using explicit qualification. The :: prefix refers to the global namespace.

// using_declaration3.cpp
#include <stdio.h>

void f() {
   printf_s("In f\n");
}

namespace A {
   void g() {
      printf_s("In A::g\n");
   }
}

namespace X {
   using ::f;   // global f is also visible as X::f
   using A::g;   // A's g is now visible as X::g
}

void h() {
   printf_s("In h\n");
   X::f();   // calls ::f
   X::g();   // calls A::g
}

int main() {
   h();
}
In h
In f
In A::g

Example

When a using declaration is made, the synonym created by the declaration refers only to definitions that are valid at the point of the using declaration. Definitions added to a namespace after the using declaration are not valid synonyms.

A name defined by a using declaration is an alias for its original name. It does not affect the type, linkage or other attributes of the original declaration.

// post_declaration_namespace_additions.cpp
// compile with: /c
namespace A {
   void f(int) {}
}

using A::f;   // f is a synonym for A::f(int) only

namespace A {
   void f(char) {}
}

void f() {
   f('a');   // refers to A::f(int), even though A::f(char) exists
}

void b() {
   using A::f;   // refers to A::f(int) AND A::f(char)
   f('a');   // calls A::f(char);
}

Example

With respect to functions in namespaces, if a set of local declarations and using declarations for a single name are given in a declarative region, they must all refer to the same entity, or they must all refer to functions.

// functions_in_namespaces1.cpp
// C2874 expected
namespace B {
    int i;
    void f(int);
    void f(double);
}

void g() {
    int i;
    using B::i;   // error: i declared twice
    void f(char);
    using B::f;   // ok: each f is a function
}

In the example above, the using B::i statement causes a second int i to be declared in the g() function. The using B::f statement does not conflict with the f(char) function because the function names introduced by B::f have different parameter types.

Example

A local function declaration cannot have the same name and type as a function introduced by using declaration. For example:

// functions_in_namespaces2.cpp
// C2668 expected
namespace B {
    void f(int);
    void f(double);
}

namespace C {
    void f(int);
    void f(double);
    void f(char);
}

void h() {
    using B::f;          // introduces B::f(int) and B::f(double)
    using C::f;          // C::f(int), C::f(double), and C::f(char)
    f('h');              // calls C::f(char)
    f(1);                // C2668 ambiguous: B::f(int) or C::f(int)?
    void f(int);         // C2883 conflicts with B::f(int) and C::f(int)
}

Example

With respect to inheritance, when a using declaration introduces a name from a base class into a derived class scope, member functions in the derived class override virtual member functions with the same name and argument types in the base class.

// using_declaration_inheritance1.cpp
#include <stdio.h>
struct B {
   virtual void f(int) {
      printf_s("In B::f(int)\n");
   }

   virtual void f(char) {
      printf_s("In B::f(char)\n");
   }

   void g(int) {
      printf_s("In B::g\n");
   }

   void h(int);
};

struct D : B {
   using B::f;
   void f(int) {   // ok: D::f(int) overrides B::f(int)
      printf_s("In D::f(int)\n");
   }

   using B::g;
   void g(char) {   // ok: there is no B::g(char)
      printf_s("In D::g(char)\n");
   }

   using B::h;
   void h(int) {}   // Note: D::h(int) hides non-virtual B::h(int)
};

void f(D* pd) {
   pd->f(1);     // calls D::f(int)
   pd->f('a');   // calls B::f(char)
   pd->g(1);     // calls B::g(int)
   pd->g('a');   // calls D::g(char)
}

int main() {
   D * myd = new D();
   f(myd);
}
In D::f(int)
In B::f(char)
In B::g
In D::g(char)

Example

All instances of a name mentioned in a using declaration must be accessible. In particular, if a derived class uses a using declaration to access a member of a base class, the member name must be accessible. If the name is that of an overloaded member function, then all functions named must be accessible.

For more information on accessibility of members, see Member-Access Control.

// using_declaration_inheritance2.cpp
// C2876 expected
class A {
private:
   void f(char);
public:
   void f(int);
protected:
   void g();
};

class B : public A {
   using A::f;   // C2876: A::f(char) is inaccessible
public:
   using A::g;   // B::g is a public synonym for A::g
};

See also

Namespaces
Keywords