We’ll start with the most recent:
includes. Very simply,
includes returns a value of
false if an array contains a particular value. Given an array of the following elements:
let stations = [ "Salyut", "Skylab", "Almaz", "Mir", "ISS", "Tiangong" ]
Determining if the array contains a particular value is as simple as the following (tested in the console for clarity):
stations.includes("Skylab"); > true stations.includes("Space Station V"); > false
includes will only match complete elements, and not partial strings:
stations.includes("Sky"); > false
Searches are also case-sensitive:
stations.includes("skylab"); > false
includes will tell you if an array contains a matching element, but it won’t tell you where that element is in the array. However, you can tell it where to start searching by adding an optional
stations.includes("Mir", 2); > true stations.includes("Mir", 5); > false
includes has decent support, in recent browser versions: Chrome 47, Firefox 43. Microsoft Edge, and Safari 9. There’s no support in Internet Explorer, but polyfills.io and other sources can provide a solution.
indexOf tells you the position of a matching element in an array. Given the same array we started with:
let stations = [ "Salyut", "Skylab", "Almaz", "Mir", "ISS", "Tiangong" ];
We can use
indexOf to detect the position of an element that matches a particular value:
stations.indexOf("ISS"); > 4
-1 if the element is not found:
stations.indexOf("Elysium"); > -1
The method has excellent support in every modern browser, including IE9+. Like
includes, you can add an optional argument for where in the array you want to start searching from.
indexOf finds the first match from the start of an array. In contrast,
lastIndexOf starts searching from the end of the array.
stations.lastIndexOf("Almaz"); > 2
lastIndexOf still reports the position of a match indexed from the start, and (like
indexOf) will return
-1 if no match is found. Also like
indexOf, an optional argument can be provided, but it indicates the point from the end of the array where the search should start from. As you might expect,
lastIndexOf has the same range of browser support as
Photograph by T Buchtele, used under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic license
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