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PHP Array - Tutoriels et source code gratuit



An array in PHP is actually an ordered map. A map is a type that associates values to keys. This type is optimized for several different uses; it can be treated as an array, list (vector), hash table (an implementation of a map), dictionary, collection, stack, queue, and probably more. As array values can be other arrays, trees and multidimensional arrays are also possible.

Explanation of those data structures is beyond the scope of this manual, but at least one example is provided for each of them. For more information, look towards the considerable literature that exists about this broad topic.


Specifying with array()

An array can be created using the array() language construct. It takes any number of comma-separated key => value pairs as arguments.

    key  => value,
    key2 => value2,
    key3 => value3,

The comma after the last array element is optional and can be omitted. This is usually done for single-line arrays, i.e. array(1, 2) is preferred over array(1, 2, ). For multi-line arrays on the other hand the trailing comma is commonly used, as it allows easier addition of new elements at the end.

As of PHP 5.4 you can also use the short array syntax, which replaces array() with [].

Example #1 A simple array

$array = array(
"foo" => "bar",
"bar" => "foo",

// as of PHP 5.4
$array = [
"foo" => "bar",
"bar" => "foo",


The key can either be an integer or a string. The value can be of any type.

Additionally the following key casts will occur:

  • Strings containing valid integers will be cast to the integer type. E.g. the key "8" will actually be stored under 8. On the other hand "08" will not be cast, as it isn't a valid decimal integer.
  • Floats are also cast to integers, which means that the fractional part will be truncated. E.g. the key 8.7 will actually be stored under 8.
  • Bools are cast to integers, too, i.e. the key true will actually be stored under 1 and the key false under 0.
  • Null will be cast to the empty string, i.e. the key null will actually be stored under "".
  • Arrays and objectcan not be used as keys. Doing so will result in a warning: Illegal offset type.


If multiple elements in the array declaration use the same key, only the last one will be used as all others are overwritten.

Example #2 Type Casting and Overwriting example

$array = array(
1    => "a",
"1"  => "b",
1.5  => "c",
true => "d",


The above example will output:

array(1) {
  string(1) "d"

As all the keys in the above example are cast to 1, the value will be overwritten on every new element and the last assigned value "d" is the only one left over.

PHP arrays can contain integer and string keys at the same time as PHP does not distinguish between indexed and associative arrays.

Example #3 Mixed integer and string keys

$array = array(
"foo" => "bar",
"bar" => "foo",
100   => -100,
100  => 100,


The above example will output:

array(4) {
  string(3) "bar"
  string(3) "foo"

The key is optional. If it is not specified, PHP will use the increment of the largest previously used integer key.

Example #4 Indexed arrays without key

$array = array("foo""bar""hallo""world");
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