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Inserting keyboard defined variable into an fstream parameter

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Is this possible? For instance - I ask someone to enter their name. That''s fine. Then I take that name which they entered, and insert it into an fstream parameter as shown - (this is just a snippet, not the whole thing) char username[15]; cout << "\nEnter your name - "; cin >> username; fstream c_file("<< username <<.txt", ios_base::in); if (!c_file) { //no such file c_file.close (); cout << "\nFILE STATUS : Record file created successfully.\n"; recordfile.open("<< username <<.txt"); I haven''t only tried the ''<<'' to insert the username variable into the parameter, it''s just the last thing I tried. Is there any hope? Surely it''s simple enough, I just can''t find the answer Also another problem I have is a cin.getline above that code asking for the user''s name. The problem is that the previous function which goes to that one, has to have enter pressed, (after selecting an option). This seems to bypass the cin.getline. I wouldn''t have thought that should happen but I assume it''s because it''s picking up the ''\n'' character when I press enter. Any ideas about that either? Any help is appreciated, Dave

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The insertion operator, << is defined for output stream objects. cin is not a function (despite what many crap textbooks say), it is an object - an instance of std::basic_ostream<char>. The insertion operator is not generally defined for text concatenation and so forth.

To concatenate text, you can use a std::string or a std::stringstream. Use the latter if you''re concatenating text, numbers and other values with defined insertion operators (eg, you could write a Complex number class and provide the insertion operator for it).

So your example should look like this:

#include <iostream>
#include <string>

int main()
using namespace std;


string username;
cout << "\nEnter your name: ";
getline(cin, username); // using getline allows for spaces in the username

string filename = username + ".txt";

ifstream c_file( filename.c_str() ); // since you only want input, use an ifstream

if( !c_file )
// no such file

//*** note that there is no need to close c_file since it was never opened

cerr << "File \''" << filename << "\'' not found." << endl;
return -1;

cout << "FILE STATUS: Record file created successfully." << endl;


return 0;

For your extra newline problem with getline, take a look at this page.

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