Array Functions
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PHP current() Function

Topic: PHP Array ReferencePrev|Next

Description

The current() function returns the value of the current element in an array.

The following table summarizes the technical details of this function.

Return Value: Returns the value of the current element in an array. Returns FALSE if the array is empty or array's internal pointer points beyond the end of the elements list.
Changelog: Since PHP 7.0.0, array is always passed by value to this function. Prior to this version, it was passed by reference if possible, and by value otherwise.
Version: PHP 4+

Tip: Every array has an internal pointer that points to the current element in the array. When a new array is created, the current pointer is initialized to reference the first element in the array. The current() function does not move the arrays internal pointer in any way.


Syntax

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

current(array);

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

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

// Getting the current element 
echo current($colors); // Prints: red
?>

Parameters

The current() function accepts the following parameters.

Parameter Description
array Required. Specifies the array to work on.

More Examples

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

The following example demonstrates how to get the current value from an associative array:

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

// Getting the current element's value
echo current($alphabets); // Prints: apple

// Getting the current element's key
echo key($alphabets); // Prints: a
?>

The current() function is commonly used along with the following functions:

  • prev() – Moves the internal pointer of an array to the previous element, and returns its value.
  • next() – Moves the internal pointer of an array to the next element, and returns its value.
  • end() – Moves the internal pointer of an array to its last element, and returns its value.
  • reset() – Set the internal pointer of an array to its first element, and returns its value.
  • key() – Returns the key of the current element in an array.

Here's an example that demonstrates how these functions basically work:

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

// Getting the values 
echo current($colors);  // Prints: red
echo next($colors);     // Prints: green
echo current($colors);  // Prints: green
echo end($colors);      // Prints: black
echo current($colors);  // Prints: black
echo prev($colors);     // Prints: yellow
echo current($colors);  // Prints: yellow
echo reset($colors);    // Prints: red
echo current($colors);  // Prints: red

// Getting the current element's key
echo key($colors);      // Prints: 0
?>
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