Pascal programming language provides a data structure called the array, which can store a fixed-size sequential collection of elements of the same type. An array is used to store a collection of data, but it is often more useful to think of an array as a collection of variables of the same type.
Instead of declaring individual variables, such as number1, number2, …, and number100, you declare one array variable such as numbers and use numbers, numbers, and …, numbers to represent individual variables. A specific element in an array is accessed by an index.
All arrays consist of contiguous memory locations. The lowest address corresponds to the first element and the highest address to the last element.
Please note that if you want a C style array starting from index 0, you just need to start the index from 0, instead of 1.
To declare an array in Pascal, a programmer may either declare the type and then create variables of that array or directly declare the array variable.
The general form of type declaration of one-dimensional array is −
type array-identifier = array[index-type] of element-type;
- array-identifier − indicates the name of the array type.
- index-type − specifies the subscript of the array; it can be any scalar data type except real
- element-type − specifies the types of values that are going to be stored
type vector = array [ 1..25] of real; var velocity: vector;
Now, velocity is a variable array of vector type, which is sufficient to hold up to 25 real numbers.
To start the array from 0 index, the declaration would be −
type vector = array [ 0..24] of real; var velocity: vector;
Types of Array Subscript
In Pascal, an array subscript could be of any scalar type like, integer, Boolean, enumerated or subrange, except real. Array subscripts could have negative values too.
type temperature = array [-10 .. 50] of real; var day_temp, night_temp: temperature;
Let us take up another example where the subscript is of character type −
type ch_array = array[char] of 1..26; var alphabet: ch_array;
Subscript could be of enumerated type −
type color = ( red, black, blue, silver, beige); car_color = array of [color] of boolean; var car_body: car_color;
In Pascal, arrays are initialized through assignment, either by specifying a particular subscript or using a for-do loop.
For example −
type ch_array = array[char] of 1..26; var alphabet: ch_array; c: char; begin ... for c:= 'A' to 'Z' do alphabet[c] := ord[m]; (* the ord() function returns the ordinal values *)
Accessing Array Elements
An element is accessed by indexing the array name. This is done by placing the index of the element within square brackets after the name of the array. For example −
a: integer; a: = alphabet['A'];
The above statement will take the first element from the array named alphabet and assign the value to the variable a.
Following is an example, which will use all the above-mentioned three concepts viz. declaration, assignment and accessing arrays −
program exArrays; var n: array [1..10] of integer; (* n is an array of 10 integers *) i, j: integer; begin (* initialize elements of array n to 0 *) for i := 1 to 10 do n[ i ] := i + 100; (* set element at location i to i + 100 *) (* output each array element's value *) for j:= 1 to 10 do writeln('Element[', j, '] = ', n[j] ); end.
When the above code is compiled and executed, it produces the following result −
Element = 101 Element = 102 Element = 103 Element = 104 Element = 105 Element = 106 Element = 107 Element = 108 Element = 109 Element = 110
Pascal Arrays in Detail
Arrays are important to Pascal and should need lots of more details. There are following few important concepts related to array which should be clear to a Pascal programmer −
|Sr.No||Concept & Description|
|1||Multi-dimensional arraysPascal supports multidimensional arrays. The simplest form of the multidimensional array is the two-dimensional array.|
|2||Dynamic arrayIn this type of arrays, the initial length is zero. The actual length of the array must be set with the standard SetLength function.|
|3||Packed arrayThese arrays are bit-packed, i.e., each character or truth values are stored in consecutive bytes instead of using one storage unit, usually a word (4 bytes or more).|
|4||Passing arrays to subprogramsYou can pass to a subprogram a pointer to an array by specifying the array’s name without an index.|