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Laravel PHP

Print an array with PHP (+ Laravel)

Benjamin Crozat
Modified on Jun 24, 2023 0 comments Edit on GitHub
Print an array with PHP (+ Laravel)

Introduction to printing arrays in PHP

There are multiple ways to print the content of an array in PHP like var_dump(), print_r(), var_export(), and even json_encode().

Let me review each of them in this article.

print_r() displays arrays in an human-readable format.

Example:

print_r(['Foo', 'Bar', 'Baz']);

Output:

Array
(
    [0] => Foo
    [1] => Bar
    [2] => Baz
)

If you need to capture the output instead of echoing it, you can pass a second parameter to print_r():

$output = print_r(['Foo', 'Bar', 'Baz'], true);

var_dump() prints information about any type of value. It works great for arrays too!

Example:

var_dump(['Foo', 'Bar', 'Baz']);

Output:

array(3) {
  [0]=>
  string(3) "Foo"
  [1]=>
  string(3) "Bar"
  [2]=>
  string(3) "Baz"
}

You can also print an infinite amount of variables at once:

var_dump($foo, $bar, $baz, …);

var_export() prints a parsable string representation of a variable that you could just copy and paste into your source code.

Example:

$array = ['Foo', 'Bar', 'Baz'];

var_export($array);

Output:

array (
  0 => 'Foo',
  1 => 'Bar',
  2 => 'Baz',
)

json_encode() can print arrays as JSON.

Example:

$array = ['Foo', 'Bar', 'Baz'];

echo json_encode($array);

Output:

["Foo","Bar","Baz"]

Screenshot of dump() in action.

The dump() function prints in details arrays containing any value.

$array = ['Foo', 'Bar', 'Baz'];

dump($array);

And just like var_dump(), it accepts an infinity of arguments:

dump($a, $b, $c, $d, $e, …);

The dd() function does the same thing as dump(), but stops code execution.

$array = ['Foo', 'Bar', 'Baz'];

dd($array);

It also accepts an infinity of arguments:

dd($a, $b, $c, $d, $e, …);

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