underlying - using class enum c++

Can an enum class be converted to the underlying type? (2)

I find the following function underlying_cast useful when having to serialise enum values correctly.

namespace util

namespace detail
    template <typename E>
    using UnderlyingType = typename std::underlying_type<E>::type;

    template <typename E>
    using EnumTypesOnly = typename std::enable_if<std::is_enum<E>::value, E>::type;

}   // namespace util.detail

template <typename E, typename = detail::EnumTypesOnly<E>>
constexpr detail::UnderlyingType<E> underlying_cast(E e) {
    return static_cast<detail::UnderlyingType<E>>(e);

}   // namespace util

enum SomeEnum : uint16_t { A, B };

void write(SomeEnum /*e*/) {
    std::cout << "SomeEnum!\n";

void write(uint16_t /*v*/) {
    std::cout << "uint16_t!\n";

int main(int argc, char* argv[]) {
    SomeEnum e = B;
    return 0;

Is there a way to convert an enum class field to the underlying type? I thought this would be automatic, but apparently not.

enum class my_fields : unsigned { field = 1 };

unsigned a = my_fields::field;

That assignment is being rejected by GCC. error: cannot convert 'my_fields' to 'unsigned int' in assignment.

I think you can use std::underlying_type to know the underlying type, and then use cast:

#include <type_traits> //for std::underlying_type

typedef std::underlying_type<my_fields>::type utype;

utype a = static_cast<utype>(my_fields::field);

With this, you don't have to assume the underlying type, or you don't have to mention it in the definition of the enum class like enum class my_fields : int { .... } or so.

You can even write a generic convert function that should be able to convert any enum class to its underlying integral type:

template<typename E>
constexpr auto to_integral(E e) -> typename std::underlying_type<E>::type 
   return static_cast<typename std::underlying_type<E>::type>(e);

then use it:

auto value = to_integral(my_fields::field);

auto redValue = to_integral(Color::Red);//where Color is an enum class!

And since the function is declared to be constexpr, you can use it where constant expression is required:

int a[to_integral(my_fields::field)]; //declaring an array

std::array<int, to_integral(my_fields::field)> b; //better!

Hope that helps.