How do I fill array with non-default value?

This code snippet will show you how to create array variable and initialized it with a non-default value. By default, when we create an array of something in Java all entries will have its default value. For primitive types like int, long, float the default value are zero (0 or 0.0). For reference types (anything that holds an object in it) will have null as the default value. For boolean variable it will be false.

If you want to initialize the array to different value you can use the Arrays.fill() method. This method will help you to set the value for every elements of the array.

Let see the following code snippet as an example:

package org.kodejava.example.util;

import java.util.Arrays;

public class ArraysFillExample {
    public static void main(String[] args) {
        // Assign -1 to each elements of numbers array
        int[] numbers = new int[5];
        Arrays.fill(numbers, -1);
        System.out.println("Numbers: " + Arrays.toString(numbers));

        // Assign 1.0f to each elements of prices array
        float[] prices = new float[5];
        Arrays.fill(prices, 1.0f);
        System.out.println("Prices : " + Arrays.toString(prices));

        // Assign empty string to each elements of words array
        String[] words = new String[5];
        Arrays.fill(words, "");
        System.out.println("Words  : " + Arrays.toString(words));

        // Assign 9 to each elements of the multi array
        int[][] multi = new int[3][3];
        for (int[] array : multi) {
            Arrays.fill(array, 9);
        System.out.println("Multi  : " + Arrays.deepToString(multi));

In the code snippet above we utilize the Arrays.fill() utility method to assign value for each elements of the int, float and String array. To change the default value of multi dimensional array we can’t directly call the Arrays.fill() method. In the example we use for-loop to set each elements of the sub-array using the Arrays.fill() method.

The output of the code snippet above are:

Numbers: [-1, -1, -1, -1, -1]
Prices : [1.0, 1.0, 1.0, 1.0, 1.0]
Words  : [, , , , ]
Multi  : [[9, 9, 9], [9, 9, 9], [9, 9, 9]]

How can I insert an element in array at a given position?

As we know an array in Java is a fixed-size object, once it created its size cannot be changed. So if you want to have a resizable array-like object where you can insert an element at a given position you can use a java.util.List object type instead.

This example will show you how you can achieve array insert using the java.util.List and java.util.ArrayList object. Let see the code snippet below.

package org.kodejava.example.util;

import java.util.ArrayList;
import java.util.Arrays;
import java.util.List;

public class ArrayInsert {
    public static void main(String[] args) {
        // Creates an array of integer value and prints the 
        // original values.
        Integer[] numbers = new Integer[]{1, 2, 3, 8, 13, 21};
        System.out.println("Original numbers: " + 

        // Creates an ArrayList object and add the entire content
        // of numbers array into the list. We use the 
        // add(index, element) method to add element=5 at index=3.
        List<Integer> list = new ArrayList<>();
        list.add(3, 5);

        // Converts back the list into array object and prints 
        // the new values.
        numbers = list.toArray(new Integer[list.size()]);
        System.out.println("After insert    : " + Arrays.toString(numbers));

In the code snippet above the original array of Integer numbers will be converted into a List, in this case we use an ArrayList, by adding all elements of the array into the list using the List.addAll() method. The Arrays.asList() can be use to convert an array into a collection type object.

Next we insert a new element into the List using the add(int index, E element) method. Where index is the insert / add position and element is the element to be inserted. After the new element inserted we convert the List back to the original array.

Below is the result of the code snippet above:

Original numbers: [1, 2, 3, 8, 13, 21]
After insert    : [1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21]