Pointer Conversions (C# Programming Guide)

The following table shows the predefined implicit pointer conversions. Implicit conversions might occur in many situations, including method invoking and assignment statements.

Implicit pointer conversions

From To
Any pointer type void*
null Any pointer type

Explicit pointer conversion is used to perform conversions, for which there is no implicit conversion, by using a cast expression. The following table shows these conversions.

Explicit pointer conversions

From To
Any pointer type Any other pointer type
sbyte, byte, short, ushort, int, uint, long, or ulong Any pointer type
Any pointer type sbyte, byte, short, ushort, int, uint, long, or ulong

Example

In the following example, a pointer to int is converted to a pointer to byte. Notice that the pointer points to the lowest addressed byte of the variable. When you successively increment the result, up to the size of int (4 bytes), you can display the remaining bytes of the variable.

// compile with: /unsafe
class ClassConvert
{
    static void Main() 
    {
        int number = 1024;

        unsafe 
        {
            // Convert to byte:
            byte* p = (byte*)&number;

            System.Console.Write("The 4 bytes of the integer:");

            // Display the 4 bytes of the int variable:
            for (int i = 0 ; i < sizeof(int) ; ++i)
            {
                System.Console.Write(" {0:X2}", *p);
                // Increment the pointer:
                p++;
            }
            System.Console.WriteLine();
            System.Console.WriteLine("The value of the integer: {0}", number);

            // Keep the console window open in debug mode.
            System.Console.WriteLine("Press any key to exit.");
            System.Console.ReadKey();
        }
    }
}
    /* Output:
        The 4 bytes of the integer: 00 04 00 00
        The value of the integer: 1024
    */

See Also

C# Programming Guide
Pointer Expressions
Pointer types
Types
unsafe
fixed Statement
stackalloc