Print Array in PHP


There are various methods and commands used in PHP to print an array of elements. They are different in the way they print the array elements.
I will cover three main ones I usually use.
Lets assume an array as follows to explain the various types of printing.

$array = array(
        'string' => 'abcd',
        'bool' => false,
        'num' => 4,
        array(1,3,4,'2343',true)
                );
  1. var_dump
    The syntax for the function is var_dump($array) and the result is

    array(4) {
      ["string"]=>
      string(4) "abcd"
      ["bool"]=>
      bool(false)
      ["num"]=>
      int(4)
      [0]=>
      array(5) {
        [0]=>
        int(1)
        [1]=>
        int(3)
        [2]=>
        int(4)
        [3]=>
        string(4) "2343"
        [4]=>
        bool(true)
      }
    }
  2. print_r
    The syntax for the function is print_r($array) and the result is

    Array
    (
        [string] => abcd
        [bool] =>
        [num] => 4
        [0] => Array
            (
                [0] => 1
                [1] => 3
                [2] => 4
                [3] => 2343
                [4] => 1
            )
    
    )
  3. var_export
    The syntax for the function is var_export($array) and the result is

    array (
      'string' => 'abcd',
      'bool' => false,
      'num' => 4,
      0 =>
      array (
        0 => 1,
        1 => 3,
        2 => 4,
        3 => '2343',
        4 => true,
      ),
    )

To see the difference check the way the array elements are displayed and how Boolean and nested arrays are handled. var_export is used for reusing that printed array in a php file. This is useful when you generate an array which should be used in another php code where you can easily copy paste and use.


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  1. #1 by recovery data on July 13, 2010 - 2:59 pm

    This is really a very important and useful article. This article gives us information on printing array in PHP.

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