In this article we will discuss STL Algorithm std::sort algorithm.

std::sort is a STL Algorithm which provides the functionality of sorting a given range of elements. To use std::sort we need to pass start and end of range in it as an argument i.e.

For example, we have an array of integers and we want to sort them using std::sort . Let’s see how to do this,

We can use std::sort with array and containers too. But only with containers that provides random access functionality like std::vector etc.
It can not be used with std::list and associative containers because they don’t have random access iterators.

This sorting function compares the elements in given range using operator <.

How to sort a vector of Strings using std::sort

std::sort will use the < operator for sorting provided range of strings, therefore given string elements will be sorted in lexicographical order i.e

aaa , abc , bbb , ccc , fff

Till now we have seen how to sort primitive data types with std::sort. Now lets see,

Sorting User Defined Objects with std::sort

Suppose we have a class Person with name and id as member variables. Now we want to sort a vector of class Person objects on the basis of id.

To that wee need to to overload < operator in class Person because std::sort algorithm uses this < operator for comparision while sorting.
Lets see the code of class Person,

Now lets sort a vector of class Person objects based on its id using its internal < operator i.e.

Output will be like this,

2 :: abc
3 :: kkk
5 :: ddd
7 :: aaa

Now suppose a new requirement comes and we want to sort sort a vector of class Person objects based on its name instead of id.
Also we don’t can not change the current implementation of < operator in class.
In such scenario we will use overloaded version of std::sort that accepts a comparator (Function Pointer/ Object) as an argument and uses that for comparisons instead of < operator.

Lets see how to define a Function Object for this scenario

Now lets use this comparator in std::sort for sorting Person Objects based on name i.e.

7 :: aaa
2 :: abc
5 :: ddd
3 :: kkk

Same can be achieved using lambda function instead of comparators in std::sort i.e.

Complete Code is as follows,


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