C Use variable defined in file being included from

I am currently googling this, but I don't know how to word it. I suspect someone will point me to a duplicate question. But... if I have a file like so


include "child.h";
int foo;

and the following source file, which is called above via its header file:


int display ()
    printf ( "%d\n", foo );

Now this is a simplified example, currently I am using C++ and I am creating an object, and that object calls a method of another object, like foo declared in the parent file. Naturally I get the following error:

error: ‘foo’ was not declared in this scope

Is there any way to get around this scope issue, or must I pass foo down as a parameter?


I believe you are looking for extern.


Adding some initial linkage.

Usually, variables live in the source files...


int foo = 0;

...and are externed in the header files...


extern int foo;

In this way, whomever #includes parent.h will extern foo.

Tags: C++ / C / Include

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