How to Flatten a Multidimensional Array?


Question

Is it possible, in PHP, to flatten a (bi/multi)dimensional array without using recursion or references?

I'm only interested in the values so the keys can be ignored, I'm thinking in the lines of array_map() and array_values().

1
230
1/8/2012 7:41:06 PM

Accepted Answer

You can use the Standard PHP Library (SPL) to "hide" the recursion.

$a = array(1,2,array(3,4, array(5,6,7), 8), 9);
$it = new RecursiveIteratorIterator(new RecursiveArrayIterator($a));
foreach($it as $v) {
  echo $v, " ";
}

prints

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 
258
8/24/2009 2:39:06 AM

As of PHP 5.3 the shortest solution seems to be array_walk_recursive() with the new closures syntax:

function flatten(array $array) {
    $return = array();
    array_walk_recursive($array, function($a) use (&$return) { $return[] = $a; });
    return $return;
}

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