I'm currently playing around with strings and char arrays and having problems initialising a char array properly. Basically I've got a text file whose length I want to check before putting the contents into a char array I define my ifstream variable as in_data and a string as str1. Then opening some small text file on my computer I use getline(in_data, str1) I then initialise const int strlen = str1.length() Now if I initialise char instuff[strlen] I get a problem saying I've initialised my array with a variable. Of course if I put a number in there directly I'm fine but surely I've already defined instuff to be constant (whatever value strlen took) and am scratching my head as to why I'm having a problem. I apologise for the poor variable names (I'm just experimenting at the mo), and for not putting the entire program here (it is on a computer that isn't online) Can anyone help?