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How to Copy a JavaScript Array by its Values?

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Copying JavaScript arrays is something that we’ve to do often in our apps.

In this article, we’ll look at how to copy a JavaScript array by its values.

Array.prototype.slice

We can use the slice method available in a JavaScript array instance.

For instance, we can write:

const oldArray = [1, 2, 3, 4, 5];
const newArray = oldArray.slice();
console.log(newArray);

The slice method returns a copy of the array it’s called on if no arguments are passed into it.

Spread Operator

Another way to copy an array’s entries into another array is to use the spread operator.

This is available since ES6.

For instance, we can write:

const oldArray = [1, 2, 3, 4, 5];
const newArray = [...oldArray];
console.log(newArray);

We copy all the items from the oldArray into the newArray with the spread operator.

So newArray is the exact copy of oldArray .

Array.prototype.concat

We can also use the concat method to copy an array to a new array.

To use it, we can write:

const oldArray = [1, 2, 3, 4, 5];
const newArray = [].concat(oldArray);
console.log(newArray);

concat returns the array it’s called on with the array that’s passed into it as the argument.

Also, we can write:

const oldArray = [1, 2, 3, 4, 5];
const newArray = oldArray.concat();
console.log(newArray);

which also returns a copy of oldArray .

JSON.stringify and JSON.parse

We can use JSON.stringify and JSON.parse to make a copy of an array.

For instance, we can write:

const oldArray = [1, 2, 3, 4, 5];
const newArray = JSON.parse(JSON.stringify(oldArray));
console.log(newArray);

JSON.stringify converts oldArray to a JSON string.

Then we use JSON.parse to convert the JSON string back to an array.

And then we assigned the returned value to newArray .

Array.from

Another way to copy an array is to use the Array.from method.

The method lets us create an array from other arrays or an array-like object.

To use it to copy an array we can write:

const oldArray = [1, 2, 3, 4, 5];
const newArray = Array.from(oldArray);
console.log(newArray);

We just pass in the array we want to copy into the method and it’ll be copied.

Lodash

Lodash has the clone method to do a shallow clone of an object.

It also has the cloneDeep method to do a deep clone of an object.

We can use either one to copy an array.

For instance, we can write:

const oldArray = [1, 2, 3, 4, 5];
const newArray = _.clone(oldArray)
console.log(newArray);

or:

const oldArray = [1, 2, 3, 4, 5];
const newArray = _.cloneDeep(oldArray)
console.log(newArray);

to make a copy of oldArray and assign it to newArray .

Conclusion

There are many ways to copy an array into another one with JavaScript’s standard libraries.

We can also do the same thing with Lodash.

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