Solved: get filename from path

Sure, let’s delve into the topic of getting a filename from a path with the help of C++.

Extracting the filename from a path is a frequent task in programming, especially in operations involving file handling. This article provides an in-depth explanation of how to accomplish this task using C++. By the end of the article, you will be able to understand and implement a solution to this problem.

The Solution
The solution involves using the in-built functions provided by the C++ Standard Library. The library we will be focusing on is the filesystem library, introduced in C++17. It provides various functionalities to manipulate files and directories.

std::string get_filename(std::string path){
return std::filesystem::path(path).filename().string();

Understanding the Code
The get_filename function takes a string argument – path, and returns the filename. The function utilizes the filesystem library. We create a filesystem::path object with the provided path string, and use the filename() method to obtain the filename. The filename is then converted to a string using the string() method and returned by the function.

  • The first line is where we include the filesystem library in our code.
  • The get_filename function is defined with a string argument path.
  • We create a filesystem::path object with the path string.
  • The filename method is called on the filesystem::path object to get the filename.
  • The filename is then converted to a string using the string() method.

The Filesystem Library

The C++17 standard introduced the filesystem library, which consists of a series of classes and functions aimed towards performing operations on filepaths, files, and directories. One of its classes – filesystem::path, is used in our solution to extract the filename from the path.

This library allows you to perform operations such as reading, writing, renaming files, creating and removing directories and so on, simplifying file system manipulations in C++ drastically.

Alternative Methods

In cases where the filesystem library is not available, other methods can be utilized to extract the filename from a path. One alternative involves the use of string manipulation functions available in the string library. Here’s an example:

std::string get_filename_old(std::string path){
std::size_t found = path.find_last_of(“/\”);
return path.substr(found+1);

To sum up, extracting a filename from a path is achievable using the filesystem library in C++. It’s essential to be familiar with the functionalities of the library as file handling is prevalent in many programming tasks.

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