A "comment" is a sequence of characters beginning with a forward slash/asterisk combination (/*) that is treated as a single white-space character by the compiler and is otherwise ignored. A comment can include any combination of characters from the representable character set, including newline characters, but excluding the "end comment" delimiter (*/). Comments can occupy more than one line but cannot be nested.
Comments can appear anywhere a white-space character is allowed. Since the compiler treats a comment as a single white-space character, you cannot include comments within tokens. The compiler ignores the characters in the comment.
Use comments to document your code. This example is a comment accepted by the compiler:
/* Comments can contain keywords such as for and while without generating errors. */
Comments can appear on the same line as a code statement:
printf( "Hello\n" ); /* Comments can go here */
You can choose to precede functions or program modules with a descriptive comment block:
/* MATHERR.C illustrates writing an error routine * for math functions. */
Since comments cannot contain nested comments, this example causes an error:
/* Comment out this routine for testing /* Open file */ fh = _open( "myfile.c", _O_RDONLY ); . . . */
The error occurs because the compiler recognizes the first */, after the words Open file, as the end of the comment. It tries to process the remaining text and produces an error when it finds the */ outside a comment.
While you can use comments to render certain lines of code inactive for test purposes, the preprocessor directives #if and #endif and conditional compilation are a useful alternative for this task. For more information, see Preprocessor Directives in the Preprocessor Reference.
The Microsoft compiler also supports single-line comments preceded by two forward slashes (//). If you compile with /Za (ANSI standard), these comments generate errors. These comments cannot extend to a second line.
// This is a valid comment
Comments beginning with two forward slashes (//) are terminated by the next newline character that is not preceded by an escape character. In the next example, the newline character is preceded by a backslash (\), creating an "escape sequence." This escape sequence causes the compiler to treat the next line as part of the previous line. (For more information, see Escape Sequences.)
// my comment \ i++;
Therefore, the i++; statement is commented out.
The default for Microsoft C is that the Microsoft extensions are enabled. Use /Za to disable these extensions.
END Microsoft Specific