PHP 8.2.0 Beta 3 available for testing

usort

(PHP 4, PHP 5, PHP 7, PHP 8)

usortSort an array by values using a user-defined comparison function

Description

usort(array &$array, callable $callback): bool

Sorts array in place by values using a user-supplied comparison function to determine the order.

Note:

If two members compare as equal, they retain their original order. Prior to PHP 8.0.0, their relative order in the sorted array was undefined.

Note: This function assigns new keys to the elements in array. It will remove any existing keys that may have been assigned, rather than just reordering the keys.

Parameters

array

The input array.

callback

The comparison function must return an integer less than, equal to, or greater than zero if the first argument is considered to be respectively less than, equal to, or greater than the second.

callback(mixed $a, mixed $b): int

Return Values

Always returns true.

Changelog

Version Description
8.0.0 If callback expects a parameter to be passed by reference, this function will now emit an E_WARNING.

Examples

Example #1 usort() example

<?php
function cmp($a$b)
{
    if (
$a == $b) {
        return 
0;
    }
    return (
$a $b) ? -1;
}

$a = array(32561);

usort($a"cmp");

foreach (
$a as $key => $value) {
    echo 
"$key$value\n";
}
?>

The above example will output:

0: 1
1: 2
2: 3
3: 5
4: 6

The spaceship operator may be used to simplify the internal comparison even further.

<?php
function cmp($a$b)
{
    return 
$a <=> $b;
}

$a = array(32561);

usort($a"cmp");

foreach (
$a as $key => $value) {
    echo 
"$key$value\n";
}
?>

Note:

Obviously in this trivial case the sort() function would be more appropriate.

Example #2 usort() example using multi-dimensional array

<?php
function cmp($a$b)
{
    return 
strcmp($a["fruit"], $b["fruit"]);
}

$fruits[0]["fruit"] = "lemons";
$fruits[1]["fruit"] = "apples";
$fruits[2]["fruit"] = "grapes";

usort($fruits"cmp");

foreach (
$fruits as $key => $value) {
    echo 
"\$fruits[$key]: " $value["fruit"] . "\n";
}
?>

When sorting a multi-dimensional array, $a and $b contain references to the first index of the array.

The above example will output:

$fruits[0]: apples
$fruits[1]: grapes
$fruits[2]: lemons

Example #3 usort() example using a member function of an object

<?php
class TestObj {
    private 
string $name;

    function 
__construct($name)
    {
        
$this->name $name;
    }

    
/* This is the static comparing function: */
    
static function cmp_obj($a$b)
    {
        return 
strtolower($a->name) <=> strtolower($b->name);
    }
}

$a[] = new TestObj("c");
$a[] = new TestObj("b");
$a[] = new TestObj("d");

usort($a, [TestObj::class, "cmp_obj"]);

foreach (
$a as $item) {
    echo 
$item->name "\n";
}
?>

The above example will output:

b
c
d

Example #4 usort() example using a closure to sort a multi-dimensional array

<?php
$array
[0] = array('key_a' => 'z''key_b' => 'c');
$array[1] = array('key_a' => 'x''key_b' => 'b');
$array[2] = array('key_a' => 'y''key_b' => 'a');

function 
build_sorter($key) {
    return function (
$a$b) use ($key) {
        return 
strnatcmp($a[$key], $b[$key]);
    };
}

usort($arraybuild_sorter('key_b'));

foreach (
$array as $item) {
    echo 
$item['key_a'] . ', ' $item['key_b'] . "\n";
}
?>

The above example will output:

y, a
x, b
z, c

Example #5 usort() example using the spaceship operator

The spaceship operator allows for straightforward comparison of compound values across multiple axes. The following example will sort $people by last name, then by first name if the last name matches.

<?php
$people
[0] = ['first' => 'Adam''last' => 'West'];
$people[1] = ['first' => 'Alec''last' => 'Baldwin'];
$people[2] = ['first' => 'Adam''last' => 'Baldwin'];

function 
sorter(array $a, array $b) {
    return [
$a['last'], $a['first']] <=> [$b['last'], $b['first']];
}

usort($people'sorter');

foreach (
$people as $person) {
    print 
$person['last'] . ', ' $person['first'] . PHP_EOL;
}
?>

The above example will output:

Baldwin, Adam
Baldwin, Alec
West, Adam

See Also

add a note

User Contributed Notes 10 notes

up
8
Hayley Watson
9 years ago
As the documentation says, the comparison function needs to return an integer that is either "less than, equal to, or greater than zero". There is no requirement to restrict the value returned to -1, 0, 1.

<?php
usort
($array, function($a, $b) {
    if(
$a->integer_property > $b->integer_property) {
        return
1;
    }
    elseif(
$a->integer_property < $b->integer_property) {
        return -
1;
    }
    else {
        return
0;
    }
});
?>

can be simplified to

<?php
usort
($array, function($a, $b) {
    return
$a->integer_property - $b->integer_property;
});
?>

This of course applies to any comparison function that calculates an integer "score" for each of its arguments to decide which is "greater".
up
7
luke dot semerau at gmail dot com
13 years ago
If you need to use usort with a key in the calling method, I wrote this as a utility:
<?php

function usort_comparison($obj, $method, $key) {
   
$usorter = &new Usort($obj, $method, $key);
    return array(
$usorter, "sort");
}

class
Usort {
    function
__construct($obj, $method, $key) {
       
$this->obj = $obj;
       
$this->method = $method;
       
$this->key = $key;
    }
    function
sort($a, $b) {
        return
call_user_func_array(array($this->obj, $this->method), array($a, $b, $this->key));
    }
}

?>

<?php

require_once("util/usort.php");

class
Foo {
   
$items = array(FooBar(13), FooBar(2));
    public function
sorter() {
       
usort($this-items, usort_comparison("Foo", "_cmp", "item"));
    }

    public static function
_cmp($a, $b, $key) {
         return
strcasecmp($a->$key, $b->$key);
    }

}

class
FooBar {
    public
$item;
    function
__construct($val) {
       
$this->item = $val;
    }
}

?>

~ simple example... but in the way I need to use it was the key was used in a switch statement to choose the different member of the object to compare against dynamically (as in, sort by x or y or z)
up
10
mkr at binarywerks dot dk
19 years ago
If you want to sort an array according to another array acting as a priority list, you can use this function.

<?php
function listcmp($a, $b)
{
  global
$order;

  foreach(
$order as $key => $value)
    {
      if(
$a==$value)
        {
          return
0;
          break;
        }

      if(
$b==$value)
        {
          return
1;
          break;
        }
    }
}

$order[0] = "first";
$order[1] = "second";
$order[2] = "third";

$array[0] = "second";
$array[1] = "first";
$array[2] = "third";
$array[3] = "fourth";
$array[4] = "second";
$array[5] = "first";
$array[6] = "second";

usort($array, "listcmp");

print_r($array);
?>
up
6
derek at luddite dot net
21 years ago
Needed a date sort and I didn't know if one was available so I wrote one. Maybe it'll help someone:

<?php
function DateSort($a,$b,$d="-") {
    if (
$a == $b) {
        return
0;
    } else { 
//Convert into dates and compare
       
list($am,$ad,$ay)=split($d,$a);
        list(
$bm,$bd,$by)=split($d,$b);
        if (
mktime(0,0,0,$am,$ad,$ay) < mktime(0,0,0,$bm,$bd,$by)) {
            return -
1;
        } else {
            return
1;
        }
    }
}
?>

$d is the delimeter
up
4
inigo dot grimbergen at gmail dot com
5 years ago
to sort with numeric and empty values  and have the smallest on top:
<?php
    usort
($list, function($a, $b) {
        if(
$a == null && $b != null ) return 1;
        if(
$a != null && $b == null ) return -1;
        return
$a > $b ? 1 : -1;
    });
?>
returns
1
2
3
null
null
null
up
4
sydney at totoche dot org
16 years ago
Instead of doing  :

<?php $strc = strcmp( strtolower($a[$f]), strtolower($b[$f]) ); ?>

you could do this :

<?php $strc = strcasecmp( $a[$f], $b[$f] ); ?>

which is more efficient and is does case insensitive comparison according to the current locale.
up
3
bo at erichsen dot com
21 years ago
when using usort to refer to a function inside a class i have succesfully used:

<?php usort($myarray,array($this,"cmp")); ?>
up
3
andi_mclean at ntlworld dot com
10 years ago
I needed a sort method that would sort strings but take note of any numbers and would compare them as number. I also want to ignore any non alphanumerical characters.

Eg.
Slot 1 Example
Slot 10 Example
Slot 2 Example

Should infact be
Slot 1 Example
Slot 2 Example
Slot 10 Example

<?php
function sort_with_numbers($a , $b) {
   
$a = explode(' ',$a);
   
$b = explode(' ',$b);
   
$size = min(count($a), count($b));
    for(
$index =0; $index < $size; ++$index) {
       
$a1 = ereg_replace("[^A-Za-z0-9]", "",$a[$index]);
       
$b1 = ereg_replace("[^A-Za-z0-9]", "",$b[$index]);
       
$equal = 0;
        if (
is_numeric($a1) && is_numeric($b1)) {
           
$equal = $a1 - $b1;
        } else {
           
$equal = strcasecmp($a1,$b1);
        }
        if (
$equal < 0) {
            return -
1;
        }
        if (
$equal > 0) {
            return
1;
        }
    }
    return
count($a) - count($b);   
}
?>
up
2
chris at candm dot org dot uk
3 years ago
In case anyone is interested, comparative timings over 100000000 runs
Based on comparing integers (500 and 501)
Spaceship:4
()?: operator:10
Subtraction:2

Based on comparing floats (500.1 and 501.3) (caveats noted)
Spaceship:5
()?: operator:9
Subtraction:3

Based on comparing strings ("five" and "four")
Spaceship:7
()?: operator:17
(Subtraction obviously not available)

Note: a dummy run was done with an empty loop and the elapsed time for this was subtracted from each of the above times so that they reflect ONLY the time to do the comparisons. As for significance. unless you are doing very large numbers of comparisons where spaceships are the order of the day, the difference is insignificant.
up
1
gus dot antoniassi at gmail dot com
3 years ago
This is a simple way to sort based on a "priority list":

<?php

$order
= [1,3,0,2];
$arr =   [
    [
'id' => 0 ],
    [
'id' => 1 ],
    [
'id' => 2 ],
    [
'id' => 3 ],
];

uasort(
   
$arr,
    function (
$a, $b) use ($order) {
        return
array_search($a['id'], $order) <=> array_search($b['id'], $order);
    }
);

print_r($arr);

?>

This will return:

Array
(
    [1] => Array
        (
            [id] => 1
        )

    [3] => Array
        (
            [id] => 3
        )

    [0] => Array
        (
            [id] => 0
        )

    [2] => Array
        (
            [id] => 2
        )

)

Note that if you have a value in $arr that is not on the $order list, you will need additional checks since the array_search function returns FALSE for undefined indexes.
To Top