I've got an array of char* with serial data that I'm trying to remove ':' from. I have tried to iterate through the char*, find and remove any colons but it just comes out as garbage.

  char* espData[15];

  // pull data from serial and tokenize with strtok > feed to espData

  for(int x = 0; x < index-1; x++){
    size_t nullTerm = strlen(espData[x]);
    espData[x][nullTerm - 1] = '\0';
    char* output
    for(size_t i = 0; i < strlen(espData[x]); ++i){
      if(espData[x][i] != ':') output += espData[x][i];
    espData[x] = output;

Moving the null character works fine (I wanted to get rid of the last character in every string). Most of the answers I found for general C++ used std::string which we don't have access to.

  • Arithmetic on a char* does nothing to its contents. Jun 15, 2016 at 1:32
  • the comment tokenize with strtok suggests your code uses strtok, which would be one (probably bloated) solution - yet your code doesn't use strtok!!? Jun 15, 2016 at 3:53
  • espData[x][nullTerm - 1] = '\0'; is redundant code Jun 15, 2016 at 3:55
  • @Jaromanda Actually, it overwrites the last character in the string - or underflows the buffer if nullTerm is 0! Jun 15, 2016 at 10:11
  • @JohnBurger - of course you're right Jun 15, 2016 at 10:23

1 Answer 1


You've assumed that a char * is some kind of string object, since you've got the following line of code: output += espData[x][i];, and then later espData[x] = output;

It quite simply doesn't work like that. At best you can point output inside espData[x] and then do some other logic: but your attempt to "accumulate" the correct characters is incorrect.

Please consider the following code instead:

char* espData[15];

for(int x = 0; x < index-1; x++){
    size_t nullTerm = strlen(espData[x]); // Get current length
    char* output = espData[x];            // Start of string
    for (size_t i = 0; i < nullTerm; ++i){
        if(espData[x][i] != ':') {        // If it's NOT a colon
            *output++ = espData[x][i];    // Copy character 'up'
        } // if
                                          // If it WAS a colon, then
                                          // output does NOT get incremented
    } // for
    *output = '\0'; // End string off with NUL
} // for

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