Re: Multidimensional arrays and arrays of arrays

Patricia Shanahan <>
Thu, 15 Jan 2009 08:29:54 -0800
Philipp wrote:

How can I distinguish if an array is multidimensional of if it just
contains an array? Or put it another way how can I tell at runtime
whether a/b in the example below is an array containing an array, or
if it is a multidimensional array.
If I know beforehand exactly which type it is, I can use instanceof
(see example), but I don't (especially the number of dimensions, I
don't know).
Else I can call getClass().getName() on the object and see if it
starts with "[[" (pretty ugly IMHO).
Is there another, cleaner method to do this?

Use the Class object's query methods, rather than extracting the name
and parsing it:

    * Test for array-of-arrays
    * @param x Non-null reference to an object.
    * @return true if, and only if, x is a reference to an
    * array of arrays.
   public static boolean isArrayOfArrays(Object x){
     Class<? extends Object> xClass = x.getClass();
     if(! xClass.isArray()){
       return false;
       return xClass.getComponentType().isArray();

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