How To Work with Arrays in Ruby


An array is an information framework that represents a summary of values, called elements. Arrays allow you to keep values that are multiple a single variable. This can condense and organize your code, making it more maintainable and readable. And because arrays are items making use of their methods that are own they are able to make dealing with listings of information much simpler.

In Ruby. arrays can include any datatype, including figures, strings, as well as other Ruby items.

Let’s examine a example that is simple of powerful arrays can be. Imagine you had to maintain a list of email addresses. Without an array, you may keep e-mail details in factors, similar to this:


email1 = "[email protected]"
email2 = "[email protected]"
email3 = "[email protected]"
email4 = "[email protected]"

This approach is verbose and may swiftly become hard to keep, because it’s not so versatile. Including another email means you had need certainly to include, and track, another adjustable.

(you can simplify this data:

If you use an array,*********************************)


emails = [
  "[email protected]",
  "[email protected]",
  "[email protected]",
  "[email protected]"

Instead of developing five variables that are separate you now have one variable that contains all four email addresses. In this example, we used brackets that are square [] — to produce a wide range, and separated each entry with a comma. You would add another email address to the array rather than creating and managing a new variable.( if you had to add an additional email address,*********************************)

To access a item that is specific or element of an array, you reference its index, or its position in the array. In Ruby, indexes start at zero. so to retrieve the element that is first our emails array, we append the element’s index towards adjustable making use of square brackets, similar to this:

print e-mails[0];


[email protected]

In this guide, you will produce arrays, access the values they have, include, change, and eliminate elements in a wide range, and iterate through elements in a wide range to resolve more problems that are complex. Let us start with taking a look at how exactly to produce arrays much more information.

Creating a wide range

To create a wide range in a Ruby system, usage square brackets: ([]), and split the values you need to keep with commas.

For instance, create numerous sharks and designate it to an adjustable, similar to this:


sharks = ["Hammerhead", "Great White", "Tiger"]

You can print out an array that is entire the print statment, that’ll show the array’s articles:

print sharks


["Hammerhead", "Great White", "Tiger"]

({******************************)If you want to create an array where each entry is a single word, you can use the %w{} syntax, which creates a word array:(|you can use the %w{} syntax, which produces a word array:

If you need to produce a wide range in which each entry is just one term,}*********************************)

days = %w{Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday monday}

This is the same as producing the array with square braces:

days =  ["Monday", "Tuesday", "Wednesday", "Thursday", "Friday", "Saturday", "Sunday"]

However, realize that the %w{} technique allows you to miss the quotes additionally the commas.

Arrays can be used to cluster together listings of comparable information kinds, however in Ruby, arrays can include any value or a variety of values, including other arrays. Here is a good example of a wide range which contains a string, a nil value, an integer, and numerous strings:


record = [

Now let us examine exactly how we access information kept in arrays.

Accessing Products in Arrays

You access something in a Ruby array by talking about the index regarding the product in square brackets.

Let’s explore this notion with your selection of sharks, assigned towards adjustable sharks:


sharks = ["Hammerhead", "Great White", "Tiger"]

The sharks array has three elements. The following is a failure of exactly how each aspect in the sharks array is indexed.

Hammerhead Greate White Tiger
0 1 2

The very first aspect in the array is Hammerhead, that will be indexed at 0. The element that is last Tiger, which is indexed at 2. Counting starts with 0 in indices, which goes against our intuition that is natural to counting at 1, and that means you’ll be wanting to help keep this at heart until it becomes normal.

Note: it could allow you to consider the index as an offset; oahu is the amount of places right away regarding the array. The element that is first at the beginning, so its offset, or index, is 0. The element that is second one spot from 1st entry in array, so its offset, or index, is 1.

You find down exactly how elements that are many in a wide range with all the length technique.




Although the indices of sharks begin at 0 and head to 2, the length home comes back the amount of elements in array, that will be 3. It is not focused on the indices anyway.

If you wished to find the index number out of a particular aspect in a wide range, such as for instance seahorse, make use of the index() technique:

print sharks.index("Tiger")



This comes back the index regarding the element that is first that text. If an index number is not found, such as for a value that does not exist, the console shall get back nil.

print sharks.index("Whale")



To have the final part of a wide range in Ruby, make use of the index -1:

print sharks[-1]



Ruby additionally offers the first and last ways to have the very first and elements that are last making use of indices:

puts sharks.first
sets sharks.last


"Hammerhead" "Tiger"

Attempting to gain access to an index it doesn’t occur will get back nil.




Arrays can include other arrays, which we call nested arrays. This really is one method to model data that are two-dimentional in a course. Here is a good example of a nested array:

nested_array = [

In purchase to gain access to elements in a nested array, you’d include another index quantity to match the array that is inner. For instance, to retrive the worthiness coral with this nested array, you had make use of the after declaration:

print nested_array[1][0];



In this instance, we accessed the array at place 1 regarding the nested_array adjustable, which came back the array ["coral", "reef"]. We then accessed the sun and rain at place 0 of this array, that has been "coral".

Now let us examine how exactly to include elements to a wide range.

Adding Elements

We have actually three elements inside our sharks array, that are indexed from 0 to 2:


sharks = ["Hammerhead", "Great White", "Tiger"]

There are some techniques to include a element that is new. You could assign a value to the index that is next that this instance will be 3:

sharks[3] = "whale";

printing sharks


["Hammerhead", "Great White", "Tiger", "Whale"]

This technique is error-prone though. It will create a nil element in the array.( if you add an element and accidentally skip an index,*********************************)

sharks[5] = "Sand";

printing sharks;


["Hammerhead", "Great White", "Tiger", "Whale", nil, "Sand"]

Attempting to gain access to the array that is extra will get back its value, which is nil.




Finding another available index in a wide range is error-prone and takes time that is extra. Avoid errors by using the push method, which adds an element to the final end of a wide range:

printing sharks


["Hammerhead", "Great White", "Tiger", "Whale", nil, "Whale", "Thresher"]

You also can make use of the << syntax as opposed to the push approach to include a feature towards end of a wide range:

sharks << "Bullhead"


["Hammerhead", "Great White", "Tiger", "Whale", nil, "Whale", "Thresher", "Bullhead"]

To include a feature towards start of a wide range, make use of the unshift() technique:

printing sharks


["Angel", "Hammerhead", "Great White", "Tiger", "Whale", nil, "Whale", "Thresher", "Bullhead"]

Now them.( that you know how to add elements, let’s look at removing*********************************)

Removing Elements

To eliminate a element that is specific a wide range, make use of the delete or delete_at practices. Inside sharks array, we inadvertently created a nil array element earlier in the day. Let us eradicate it.

First, find its place in array. You should use the index approach to accomplish that:

print sharks.index(nil)



Then usage delete_at to get rid of the element at index 4 and printing the array:

printing sharks


["Angel", "Hammerhead", "Great White", "Tiger", "Whale", "Thresher", "Bullhead"]

The delete technique eliminates elements from a wide range that match the worthiness you pass in. Put it to use to get rid of Whale from array:

printing sharks;


["Angel", "Hammerhead", "Great White", "Tiger", "Thresher", "Bullhead"]

The delete technique will eliminate all occurances regarding the value you pass, therefore if your array has elements that are duplicate they will all be eliminated.

The pop technique will take away the element that is last a wide range.

printing sharks;


["Angel", "Hammerhead", "Great White", "Tiger", "Thresher"]

Bullhead happens to be eliminated once the element that is last of array. Theshift method.( in order to remove the first element of the array, use*********************************)

printing sharks


["Hammerhead", "Great White", "Tiger", "Thresher"]

This time, Angel ended up being taken out of the start of the array.

By making use of pop and shift, you are able to eliminate elements right from the start additionally the end of arrays. Making use of pop is advised whenever we can, once the remaining portion of the products in array retain their initial index figures.

The delete_at, pop, and shift practices all replace the array that is original get back the element you removed. Test this instance:


sharks = ["Hammerhead", "Great White", "Tiger", "Whale"]
deleted_at_element = sharks.delete_at(1)
popped_element = sharks.pop

places "Deleted_at element: #{deleted_at_element}"
places "Popped element: #{popped_element}"

places "Remaining array: #{sharks}"


Deleted_at element: Great White Popped element: Whale Remaining array: ["Hammerhead", "Tiger"]

You now understand a few techniques to eliminate elements from a wide range. Now let us examine how exactly to change the element we curently have.

Modifying Existing Elements

To upgrade a feature in array, assign a value that is new the element’s index using the project operator, like everyone else would with an everyday adjustable.

Given a fresh selection of sharks, with "Hammerhead" at index 0, let us replace "Hammerhead" with "Angel":

sharks = ["Hammerhead", "Great White", "Tiger", "Whale"]
sharks[0] = "Angel"
printing sharks;


["Angel", "Great White", "Tiger", "Whale"]

To be sure you upgrade the proper element, you could utilize the index approach to find the element first, simply you wanted to delete.( like you did to find the element*********************************)

Now let us examine how exactly to use most of the elements in array.

Iterating Over a wide range

Ruby provides ways that are many iterate over a wide range, and every technique you employ is based on the type of work you need to perform. In this specific article, we will explore how exactly to iterate over a wide range and show every one of its elements.

Ruby offers the syntax, which seems like this:

sharks = ["Hammerhead", "Great White", "Tiger", "Whale"]
for shark in sharks do
  sets shark

listed here is how it operates. For every aspect in the sharks array, Ruby assigns that element towards regional adjustable shark. We are able to then print the element’s value making use of puts.

You wont see frequently though. Ruby arrays are items, in addition they give you the each way for dealing with elements. The each technique works in an identical fashion to, but has a syntax:( that is different*********************************)


sharks = ["Hammerhead", "Great White", "Tiger", "Whale"]
sharks.each do |shark| 
  sets shark

The each technique makes use of a syntax you will see usually in Ruby development. A Ruby is taken by it block as its argument. A block is some code that will later be executed in context regarding the technique. The code is puts shark in this case. The shark keyword, enclosed in the pipe characters (|), is the local variable that represents the element in the array that the block shall access. Ruby assigns the element for this adjustable and executes the rule in block. The each technique repeats this procedure for every aspect in the array. The effect seems like this:


Hammerhead Great White Tiger Whale

whenever block is a line that is single you usually see Ruby designers exchange the do and end key words with curly braces and condense your whole declaration into just one line, similar to this:


sharks.each shark

This creates the results that are same makes use of less lines of rule.

The each_with_index technique works in a manner that is similar but it addittionally offers you usage of the index regarding the array element. The program makes use of each_with_index to printing out of the index additionally the value for every element:


sharks = ["Hammerhead", "Great White", "Tiger", "Whale"]
sharks.each_with_index do |shark, index| 
  places "The index is #{index}"
  places "The value is #{shark}"

For each aspect in the array, Ruby assigns the element towards adjustable shark, and assigns the index that is current the index adjustable. We are able to then reference both of the factors in block.

The results of the program seems like this:


The index is 0 The worthiness is Hammerhead The index is 1 The worthiness is fantastic White The index is 2 The worthiness is Tiger The index is 3 The worthiness is Whale

You’ll interate throughout the elements in a wide range usually within programs that are own such as for instance if you want to show the things from a database on a web site, or if you are reading lines from a file and processing their articles.


Arrays are an exceptionally versatile and part that is fundamental of in Ruby. In this tutorial, you created arrays and accessed elements that are individual. You included, eliminated, and modified elements in a wide range. Finally, you explored two techniques to iterate over a wide range and show its articles, that will be utilized as a method that is common show information.

Learn about other information kinds in Ruby by reading the understanding that is tutorial kinds in Ruby.

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