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Author: FlashGuru | Website: http://www.flashguru.co.uk

FlashGuru's Arrays tutorial

If you are interested in arrays then i assume you already know about variables.
Variables are a container for one piece of data, this piece of data can be a number, a string or a boolean value.

Arrays are similar to variables as they too are containers for data, except that they can hold more than one piece of data, each element(piece of data) is referred to by an index.

Arrays can be used to keep your scripts more organised, they are usually used to group together multiple values that are in some way related to each other, the values use an index to distinguish them from each other. Suppose you wanted to write out 3 quotes for use in your movie and use variables for each quote, you could define 3 variables as follows:

quote1="Flash is cool!"
quote2="Flash is my favourite program"
quote3="Flash rules"

However a better way may be to use an array, there are numerous ways of creating an array but i will show you the easiest way first:

name_of_array=new Array()

So to store our quotes in an array we could use:

quotes=new Array()

Ok thats great we now have an array, but the problem is we dont have any data inside of our array, thats not very useful so we will now place data inside of our array, we do this by using an index number, the index number refers to the position in the array.

To place a piece of data inside the first element of our array we would use:

quotes[0]="Flash is cool!"

As i mentioned before, arrays in flash 5 are zero based, meaning that the first element in the array has an index of zero(0).

So to place a piece of data inside the second element of our array we would use:

quotes[1]="Flash is my favourite program"

We use this syntax to fill an element of an array with a piece of data:

name_of_array[index]=value

where name_of_array is the name of your array, the index is the position in your array and the value is the piece of data you want to add to your array.

So the code we created earlier using variables:

quote1="Flash is cool!"
quote2="Flash is my favourite program"
quote3="Flash rules"

can also be written as follows using arrays:

quotes=new Array()
quotes[0]="Flash is cool!"
quotes[1]="Flash is my favourite program"
quotes[2]="Flash rules"

Thats all great, but that is still alot of typing, we can also create an array of values using this syntax:

name_of_array=new Array("value1","value2","value3")

So basically the same as the code we wrote earlier, but in one long line of code, value1 will be the first element of your array, value2 the second element of your array and so on....

We could use the following code to create our array of quotes:

quotes=new Array("Flash is cool!","Flash is my favourite program","Flash rules")

Thats brilliant we now know how to create arrays and what they can be used for, but there is one more way of creating arrays that i want to make you aware of, the syntax is as follows:

name_of_array=["value1","value2","value3"]

Again similar to the previous syntax except that we didnt have to use the array object initilaizer(new Array())

So again we could create our array of quotes using the following code:

quotes=["Flash is cool!","Flash is my favourite program","Flash rules"]

The way you create arrays is entirely up to you but i prefer using the last synatx i showed you as it requires less typing.

Now we know how to create arrays, but you will at some point have to access the values of your array for use in your scripts. Well fortuneatley there is only one way of doing this and the synatx is as follows:

mynewvariable=name_of_array[index]

So lets say we want to get the value of the first element in our quotes array and place it in a new variable, we would use:

firstquote=quotes[0]

the new variable would be called firstquote and its value would be Flash is cool!

» Level Intermediate

Added: 2001-02-26
Rating: 8 Votes: 74
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