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Swastik Upadhye
Swastik Upadhye

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The Most Powerful Array Method : Splice

Splice is one of the most powerful methods of Array. We can achieve following things using splice method :

  • Remove element/s from a specified index of an array
  • Replace element/s from an array ( Remove + Insert )
  • Insert element/s to an array

In short, splice method mutates the original array.

Take a look at syntax :

splice(start, deleteCount, item1, item2, itemN)

Note : Except start all others are optional )
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To understand this we will directly jump into examples.

Removing Elements from an Array

Example - 1

let numbers = [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9];
numbers.splice(2);
console.log(' result - 1 ', numbers);   // [1, 2]
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  • What splice method does here is it removes all the other elements from the specified index ( i.e start as specified in syntax )

  • Now there are four possibilities : start - index might be +ve , -ve , zero , index out of bound

Example - 2

let numbers = [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9];
numbers.splice(0);
console.log(' result - 1 ', numbers);   // []
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  • Basically splice method removes all the elements from index 0.
  • That means ultimately it removes all the elements from the array.
  • We can conclude that we can empty the array using splice method.

Example - 3

let numbers = [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9];
numbers.splice(-2);
console.log(' result - 1 ', numbers);   // [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7]
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  • When start index is specified -ve then splice method removes all the elements from the end of that array.

Example - 4

let numbers = [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9];
numbers.splice(20);
console.log(' result - 1 ', numbers);   // [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9];
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  • When start index is specified greater than or equal to length of the array then no element is removed.

Removing N no. of Elements from an Array

splice(start, deleteCount)
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  • Now along with the index from where we can start removing elements, we can specify exactly how many elements can be removed with the deleteCount as specified in the syntax.
  • Note that it's an optional.
  • Now we will take a look at the examples so that we can get an idea of it

Example - 5

let numbers = [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9];
numbers.splice(3,2);
console.log(' result - 1 ', numbers);   // [1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 8, 9]
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  • Here in the above example splice method will start removing 2 elements (2 - deletecount) from the start index i.e 3

Replacing Elements from an Array

splice(start, deleteCount, item1, item2, itemN)
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  • We can replace the elements from an array i.e inserting and removing the elements simultaneously.
  • Take a look at following example you can clearly understand this

Example - 6

let numbers = [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9];
numbers.splice(3,2, "a", "b", "c");
console.log(' result - 1 ', numbers);   // [1, 2, 3, 'a', 'b', 'c', 6, 7, 8, 9]
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  • Here, in the above example from index 3 ( i.e start - 3 ), 2 elements ( i.e delete count - 2 and elements : 3 & 4 ) are removed and "a", "b" and "c" are added.

Inserting Elements into an Array

  • This can be easily achieved by keeping delete count 0

Example - 7

let numbers = [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9];
numbers.splice(3,0, "a", "b", "c");
console.log(' result - 1 ', numbers);   // [1, 2, 3, 'a', 'b', 'c', 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9]
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I suppose this example doesn't need an explanation if you have gone through previous example.


Return value

  • Sometimes we need to keep track of exactly which are the elements are removed.
  • When we splice on an array then, it returns an array of deleted elements.
  • Take a look at this example :

Example - 8

let numbers = [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9];
let deletedArray = numbers.splice(3,2);
console.log( " -- deleted arr --- ", deletedArray); // [4, 5]
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  • Take a note of it, if no element is removed from an array then empty array is returned

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