When you declare and use data, that data takes up space in memory.
Pointers are a useful tool to manipulate and organize this memory (and data) directly.
One such example is to manipulate a variable from within a function.
Here's an example. The function toZero is a function that takes a pointer to an integer and changes the contents of that memory to zero.
Remember, the address of something is equivalent to a pointer to that memory.
If you think of memory, or address, as a location, and pointers as a means to read and write to locations, then the concept will be very simple.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14
int main(int argc, char **argv)
int number= 5;
toZero(&number); //pass the address (a pointer to) of number.
std::cout << number << std::endl;
void toZero(int *ptr)
*ptr= 0; //dereference the pointer so the *contents* are manipulated and not the pointer itself.