How to Work with Arrays in Java

In Brief...

Arrays are used to store lists of items in Java. For example, an array might store a list of names or cities. An array can be created and initialized in one Java statement. Alternatively, an array can be instantiated and then populated one element at a time. To understand how to work with arrays in Java, follow these four steps.


  1. Open your text editor and type in the following Java statements.
    Java Source for Working with Arrays
    The program creates and initializes an array of names. Next, the program instantiates an array and then loads a city into each element. Each array is printed to verify that the elements have been populated correctly.

  2. Save your file as

  3. Open a command prompt and navigate to the directory containing your Java program. Then type in the command to compile the source and hit Enter.
    Compile Source for Arrays Program

  4. You will now test your program. Type in the command to run the Java runtime launcher and then hit Enter. Notice the output of the program verifies that each array has been successfully loaded.
    Run Arrays Program

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Author: Stephen Withrow

Stephen has over 30 years' experience in training, development, and consulting in a variety of technology areas including Java, C, C++, XML, JavaScript, AJAX, Tomcat, JBoss, Oracle, and DB2. His background includes design and implementation of business solutions on client/server, Web, and enterprise platforms. Stephen is a published writer in both technical and non-technical endeavors. Stephen received an undergraduate degree in Computer Science and Physics from Florida State University.