Home > JavaScript > Identifying an array in JavaScript

Identifying an array in JavaScript

In JavaScript using typeof operator we can find the type of the variable used in the script. But it sometimes produce some confusing values for the developer especially for the novice ones. Consider the following code

var foo = {
	'name': 'Jayaprakash',
	'job': 'Web Team Lead'

If you want to determine the type of the object literal foo it is quite simple

console.log(typeof foo); //Outputting it to the browser console

The output would be ‘object‘. Pretty simple, right?

Now consider an example with an Array

var foo = [];

You want to determine the type of the array vaiable foo

console.log(typeof foo);

The output would be ‘object‘. Bit confusing you may be expecting array as the output. This is because JavaScript treats arrays as object (most of the items in JavaScript are considered as objects) in it. As a result when you determine the type of it, it will give you a value of object.

The question at this point is, is there any way through one can determine whether a variable is array or not? Yes we have a simple method for doing that

var isArray = function(arr){
	return Object.prototype.toString.call(arr).toLowerCase().indexOf('[object array]') !== -1;

This function will return true if the argument is a JavaScript array else it will return false.

Categories: JavaScript
  1. October 20, 2012 at 4:13 am

    Hurrah! After all I got a weblog from where I be able to in fact obtain valuable facts concerning my study and knowledge.


  2. deepu
    March 4, 2013 at 6:57 am

    This is very useful! Thanks!!

  3. January 31, 2015 at 2:01 pm

    Thank You đŸ™‚

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