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I have to declare a 9 X 9 array of characters and ask the user to enter two different
characters and check to make sure the characters are different and repeatedly prompt until two different characters are entered. Then, I have to fill the array so that the
diagonals (like an X) are filled with the first character entered by the user and the rest of the array is filled with the second character entered. Print the array row by row. However, my code has a weird output and I don't understand where I went wrong.

What I have tried:

C#
int main(void) {
  // declare a 9 x 9 array of characters 
  char array[9][9]; 
  char firstChar, secondChar; 

  // ask the user to enter characters
  printf("Enter two characters: "); 
  scanf("%c %c", &firstChar, &secondChar);

  // determine if the characters are different and if so, fill the diagonals of the array with the first character and the rest of the array with the second character and if not, prompt the user to enter a different character
  if (firstChar == secondChar) {
    for (int i = 0; i < 9; i++) {
      for (int j = 0; j < 9; j++) 
      array[i][j] = secondChar;
    }
    for (int i = 0; i < 9; i++) {
      for (int j = 0; j < 9; j++)
      {
        if (i == j)
          array[i][j] += firstChar;
        
        if (j == 8 - i)
          array[i][j] += firstChar; 
      }
    }
  }
  else {
    printf("Enter a different character: ");
    scanf("%c", &secondChar);
  }

  // print the array row by row
  for (int i = 0; i < 9; i++) {
	  for (int j = 0; j < 9; j++)
		  printf("%4c ", array[i][j]); 
	printf("\n"); 
}
  return 0;
}
Posted
Updated 28-Jan-21 8:39am

C++
if (firstChar == secondChar) { // that should be !=


Why are you adding the two characters together?
C++
if (i == j)
  array[i][j] += firstChar; // should just be = not +=

if (j == 8 - i)
  array[i][j] += firstChar;


[edit]
The following code works:
C++
char array[9][9];
char firstChar, secondChar;

int i = 0;
do
{
    // ask the user to enter characters, quit if 5 failed attempts
    printf("Enter two different characters: ");
    scanf("%c %c", &firstChar, &secondChar);
    getchar();
    i++;
    if (i == 5)
        exit(-1);
} while (firstChar == secondChar);

// fill the diagonals of the array with the first character
// and the rest of the array with the second character
for (int i = 0; i < 9; i++)
{
    for (int j = 0; j < 9; j++)
    {
        if (i == j)
        {
            array[i][j] = firstChar; // left to right diagonal
        }
        else if (j == 8 - i)
        {
            array[i][j] = firstChar; // right to left diagonal
        }
        else
        {
            array[i][j] = secondChar; // other cells
        }
    }
}

// print the array row by row
for (int i = 0; i < 9; i++)
{
    for (int j = 0; j < 9; j++)
    {
        printf("%4c ", array[i][j]);
    }
    printf("\n");
}


[/edit]
   
v2
Comments
CPallini 28-Jan-21 13:25pm
   
5.
Compiling does not mean your code is right! :laugh:
Think of the development process as writing an email: compiling successfully means that you wrote the email in the right language - English, rather than German for example - not that the email contained the message you wanted to send.

So now you enter the second stage of development (in reality it's the fourth or fifth, but you'll come to the earlier stages later): Testing and Debugging.

Start by looking at what it does do, and how that differs from what you wanted. This is important, because it give you information as to why it's doing it. For example, if a program is intended to let the user enter a number and it doubles it and prints the answer, then if the input / output was like this:
Input   Expected output    Actual output
  1            2                 1
  2            4                 4
  3            6                 9
  4            8                16
Then it's fairly obvious that the problem is with the bit which doubles it - it's not adding itself to itself, or multiplying it by 2, it's multiplying it by itself and returning the square of the input.
So with that, you can look at the code and it's obvious that it's somewhere here:
C#
int Double(int value)
   {
   return value * value;
   }

Once you have an idea what might be going wrong, start using the debugger to find out why. Put a breakpoint on the first line of the method, and run your app. When it reaches the breakpoint, the debugger will stop, and hand control over to you. You can now run your code line-by-line (called "single stepping") and look at (or even change) variable contents as necessary (heck, you can even change the code and try again if you need to).
Think about what each line in the code should do before you execute it, and compare that to what it actually did when you use the "Step over" button to execute each line in turn. Did it do what you expect? If so, move on to the next line.
If not, why not? How does it differ?
Hopefully, that should help you locate which part of that code has a problem, and what the problem is.
This is a skill, and it's one which is well worth developing as it helps you in the real world as well as in development. And like all skills, it only improves by use!
   
Quote:
Why is my code outputting random characters?

Your code do not behave the way you expect, or you don't understand why !

There is an almost universal solution: Run your code on debugger step by step, inspect variables.
The debugger is here to show you what your code is doing and your task is to compare with what it should do.
There is no magic in the debugger, it don't know what your code is supposed to do, it don't find bugs, it just help you to by showing you what is going on. When the code don't do what is expected, you are close to a bug.
To see what your code is doing: Just set a breakpoint and see your code performing, the debugger allow you to execute lines 1 by 1 and to inspect variables as it execute.

Debugger - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia[^]

Mastering Debugging in Visual Studio 2010 - A Beginner's Guide[^]
Basic Debugging with Visual Studio 2010 - YouTube[^]

1.11 — Debugging your program (stepping and breakpoints) | Learn C++[^]

The debugger is here to only show you what your code is doing and your task is to compare with what it should do.
   

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