An array stores multiple values in one single variable:
An array is a special variable, which can hold more than one value at a time.
If you have a list of items (a list of car names, for example), storing the cars in single variables could look like this:
However, what if you want to loop through the cars and find a specific one? And what if you had not 3 cars, but 300?
The solution is to create an array!
An array can hold many values under a single name, and you can access the values by referring to an index number.
In PHP, the array() function is used to create an array:
In PHP, there are three types of arrays:
There are two ways to create indexed arrays:
The index can be assigned automatically (index always starts at 0), like this:
or the index can be assigned manually:
The following example creates an indexed array named $cars, assigns three elements to it, and then prints a text containing the array values:
The count() function is used to return the length (the number of elements) of an array:
To loop through and print all the values of an indexed array, you could use a for loop, like this:
Associative arrays are arrays that use named keys that you assign to them.
There are two ways to create an associative array:
The named keys can then be used in a script:
To loop through and print all the values of an associative array, you could use a foreach loop, like this:
Multidimensional arrays will be explained in the PHP advanced section.
For a complete reference of all array functions, go to our complete PHP Array Reference.
The reference contains a brief description, and examples of use, for each function!