Array Functions

PHP array_search() Function

Topic: PHP Array ReferencePrev|Next


The array_search() function searches an array for a given value and returns the corresponding key if the value is found. If the value is found more than once, the first matching key is returned.

The following table summarizes the technical details of this function.

Return Value: Returns the first corresponding key if value is found in the array, FALSE otherwise.
Changelog: Since PHP 5.3.0, this function returns NULL if invalid parameters are passed to it, this also applies to all internal or built-in PHP functions.
Version: PHP 4.0.5+


The basic syntax of the array_search() function is given with:

array_search(value, array, strict);

The following example shows the array_search() function in action.

// Sample array
$alphabets = array("a"=>"apple", "b"=>"ball", "c"=>"cat", "d"=>"dog");

// Searching array for a value
echo array_search("ball", $alphabets); // Prints: b
echo array_search("dog", $alphabets);  // Prints: d


The array_search() function accepts the following parameters.

Parameter Description
value Required. Specifies the value to search for.
array Required. Specifies the array to be searched.
strict Optional. Determines if strict comparison (===) should be used during the value search. Possible values are true and false. Default value is false.

Note: In strict comparison (using strict equality === operator) value and data type must be equal, therefore in strict comparison integer 4 is not equal to string "4".

More Examples

Here're some more examples showing how array_search() function actually works:

You can also use this function to find the index of a value in an array, like this:

// Sample array
$colors = array("red", "green", "blue", "yellow", "orange");

// Searching array for a value
echo array_search("red", $colors);  // Prints: 0
echo array_search("blue", $colors); // Prints: 2

The following example shows how strict search for a value actually works (notice the "").

// Sample array
$numbers = array(1, 2, "5", 7, 8, 5, 10, 12);

// Searching array for a value
echo array_search(5, $numbers);       // Prints: 2
echo array_search(5, $numbers, true); // Prints: 5
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