Advantages of using Unions?- C faqs

Union and Advantages of Using union
Union is a collection of data items of different data types. It can hold data of only one member at a time though it has members of different data types. If a union has two members of different data types, they are allocated the same memory. The memory allocated is equal to maximum size of the members. The data is interpreted in bytes depending on which member is being accessed.

Example:
union pen {
char name;
float point;
};

Here name and point are union members. Out of these two variables, 'point' is larger variable which is of float data type and it would need 4 bytes of memory. Therefore 4 bytes space is allocated for both the variables. Both the variables have the same memory location. They are accessed according to their type. Union is efficient when members of it are not required to be accessed at the same time.

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