PHP: How to Get the Associated Key from an Array given a Value Programming 06 FEB 2012

If you have a value and you suspect that it might be contained within your array, can you somehow find the key linked to that value if it does exist?

The answer is yes, thanks to the handy array_search function which searches an array for a given value and returns the corresponding key if the search is successful, and false if the value isn’t found in the array.

In practice:

$array = array(0 => 'blue', 1 => 'red', 2 => 'green', 3 => 'red');
$key = array_search('green', $array); // $key = 2;
$key = array_search('red', $array);   // $key = 1;

(Note that similar to strpos validations, you need to make use of the === operator when testing the return value of this function).

The array_search returns the first match it comes across, meaning that if the value is in the array, you’ll only know of one instance. If it is important to know all of the corresponding keys where the value can be found, rather use the array_keys function, but this time with the optional search parameter.

In practice:

$array = array("blue", "red", "green", "blue", "blue");
print_r(array_keys($array, "blue"));
    [0] => 0
    [1] => 3
    [2] => 4


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About Craig Lotter

South African software architect and developer at Touchwork. Husband to a cupcake baker and father to two little girls. I don't have time for myself any more.