Does JavaScript have a method like “range()” to generate a range within the supplied bounds?


In PHP, you can do...

range(1, 3); // Array(1, 2, 3)
range("A", "C"); // Array("A", "B", "C")

That is, there is a function that lets you get a range of numbers or characters by passing the upper and lower bounds.

Is there anything built-in to JavaScript natively for this? If not, how would I implement it?

Numbers

[...Array(5).keys()];
 => [0, 1, 2, 3, 4]

Character iteration

String.fromCharCode(...[...Array('D'.charCodeAt(0) - 'A'.charCodeAt(0) + 1).keys()].map(i => i + 'A'.charCodeAt(0)));
 => "ABCD"

Iteration

for (const x of Array(5).keys()) {
  console.log(x, String.fromCharCode('A'.charCodeAt(0) + x));
}
 => 0,"A" 1,"B" 2,"C" 3,"D" 4,"E"

As functions

function range(size, startAt = 0) {
    return [...Array(size).keys()].map(i => i + startAt);
}

function characterRange(startChar, endChar) {
    return String.fromCharCode(...range(endChar.charCodeAt(0) -
            startChar.charCodeAt(0), startChar.charCodeAt(0)))
}

As typed functions

function range(size:number, startAt:number = 0):ReadonlyArray<number> {
    return [...Array(size).keys()].map(i => i + startAt);
}

function characterRange(startChar:string, endChar:string):ReadonlyArray<string> {
    return String.fromCharCode(...range(endChar.charCodeAt(0) -
            startChar.charCodeAt(0), startChar.charCodeAt(0)))
}

lodash.js _.range() function

_.range(10);
 => [0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9]
_.range(1, 11);
 => [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10]
_.range(0, 30, 5);
 => [0, 5, 10, 15, 20, 25]
_.range(0, -10, -1);
 => [0, -1, -2, -3, -4, -5, -6, -7, -8, -9]
String.fromCharCode(..._.range('A'.charCodeAt(0), 'D'.charCodeAt(0) + 1));
 => "ABCD"

Old non es6 browsers without a library:

Array.apply(null, Array(5)).map(function (_, i) {return i;});
 => [0, 1, 2, 3, 4]

console.log([...Array(5).keys()]);

(ES6 credit to nils petersohn and other commenters)


For numbers you can use ES6 Array.from(), which works in everything these days except IE:

Shorter version:

Array.from({length: 20}, (x,i) => i);

Longer version:

Array.from(new Array(20), (x,i) => i)

which creates an array from 0 to 19 inclusive. This can be further shortened to one of these forms:

Array.from(Array(20).keys())
// or
[...Array(20).keys()]

Lower and upper bounds can be specified too, for example:

Array.from(new Array(20), (x,i) => i + *lowerBound*)

An article describing this in more detail: http://www.2ality.com/2014/05/es6-array-methods.html


My new favorite form (ES2015)

Array(10).fill(1).map((x, y) => x + y)

And if you need a function with a step param:

const range = (start, stop, step = 1) =>
  Array(Math.ceil((stop - start) / step)).fill(start).map((x, y) => x + y * step)

Here's my 2 cents:

function range(start, count) {
  return Array.apply(0, Array(count))
    .map((element, index) => index + start);
}

It works for characters and numbers, going forwards or backwards with an optional step.

var range = function(start, end, step) {
    var range = [];
    var typeofStart = typeof start;
    var typeofEnd = typeof end;

    if (step === 0) {
        throw TypeError("Step cannot be zero.");
    }

    if (typeofStart == "undefined" || typeofEnd == "undefined") {
        throw TypeError("Must pass start and end arguments.");
    } else if (typeofStart != typeofEnd) {
        throw TypeError("Start and end arguments must be of same type.");
    }

    typeof step == "undefined" && (step = 1);

    if (end < start) {
        step = -step;
    }

    if (typeofStart == "number") {

        while (step > 0 ? end >= start : end <= start) {
            range.push(start);
            start += step;
        }

    } else if (typeofStart == "string") {

        if (start.length != 1 || end.length != 1) {
            throw TypeError("Only strings with one character are supported.");
        }

        start = start.charCodeAt(0);
        end = end.charCodeAt(0);

        while (step > 0 ? end >= start : end <= start) {
            range.push(String.fromCharCode(start));
            start += step;
        }

    } else {
        throw TypeError("Only string and number types are supported");
    }

    return range;

}

jsFiddle.

If augmenting native types is your thing, then assign it to Array.range.

var range = function(start, end, step) {
    var range = [];
    var typeofStart = typeof start;
    var typeofEnd = typeof end;

    if (step === 0) {
        throw TypeError("Step cannot be zero.");
    }

    if (typeofStart == "undefined" || typeofEnd == "undefined") {
        throw TypeError("Must pass start and end arguments.");
    } else if (typeofStart != typeofEnd) {
        throw TypeError("Start and end arguments must be of same type.");
    }

    typeof step == "undefined" && (step = 1);

    if (end < start) {
        step = -step;
    }

    if (typeofStart == "number") {

        while (step > 0 ? end >= start : end <= start) {
            range.push(start);
            start += step;
        }

    } else if (typeofStart == "string") {

        if (start.length != 1 || end.length != 1) {
            throw TypeError("Only strings with one character are supported.");
        }

        start = start.charCodeAt(0);
        end = end.charCodeAt(0);

        while (step > 0 ? end >= start : end <= start) {
            range.push(String.fromCharCode(start));
            start += step;
        }

    } else {
        throw TypeError("Only string and number types are supported");
    }

    return range;

}

console.log(range("A", "Z", 1));
console.log(range("Z", "A", 1));
console.log(range("A", "Z", 3));


console.log(range(0, 25, 1));

console.log(range(0, 25, 5));
console.log(range(20, 5, 5));


Simple range function:

function range(start, stop, step) {
    var a = [start], b = start;
    while (b < stop) {
        a.push(b += step || 1);
    }
    return a;
}

To incorporate the BitInt data type some check can be included, ensuring that all variables are same typeof start:

function range(start, stop, step) {
    var a = [start], b = start;
    if (typeof start == 'bigint') {
        stop = BigInt(stop)
        step = step? BigInt(step): 1n;
    } else
        step = step || 1;
    while (b < stop) {
        a.push(b += step);
    }
    return a;
}

To remove values higher than defined by stop e.g. range(0,5,2) will include 6, which shouldn't be.

function range(start, stop, step) {
    var a = [start], b = start;
    while (b < stop) {
        a.push(b += step || 1);
    }
    return (b > stop) ? a.slice(0,-1) : a;
}

Array.range= function(a, b, step){
    var A= [];
    if(typeof a== 'number'){
        A[0]= a;
        step= step || 1;
        while(a+step<= b){
            A[A.length]= a+= step;
        }
    }
    else{
        var s= 'abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz';
        if(a=== a.toUpperCase()){
            b=b.toUpperCase();
            s= s.toUpperCase();
        }
        s= s.substring(s.indexOf(a), s.indexOf(b)+ 1);
        A= s.split('');        
    }
    return A;
}


    Array.range(0,10);
    // [0,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10]

    Array.range(-100,100,20);
    // [-100,-80,-60,-40,-20,0,20,40,60,80,100]

    Array.range('A','F');
    // ['A','B','C','D','E','F')

    Array.range('m','r');
    // ['m','n','o','p','q','r']

OK, in JavaScript we don't have a range() function like PHP, so we need to create the function which is quite easy thing, I write couple of one-line functions for you and separate them for Numbers and Alphabets as below:

for Numbers:

function numberRange (start, end) {
  return new Array(end - start).fill().map((d, i) => i + start);
}

and call it like:

numberRange(5, 10); //[5, 6, 7, 8, 9]

for Alphabets:

function alphabetRange (start, end) {
  return new Array(end.charCodeAt(0) - start.charCodeAt(0)).fill().map((d, i) => String.fromCharCode(i + start.charCodeAt(0)));
}

and call it like:

alphabetRange('c', 'h'); //["c", "d", "e", "f", "g"]

Handy function to do the trick, run the code snippet below

function range(start, end, step, offset) {
  
  var len = (Math.abs(end - start) + ((offset || 0) * 2)) / (step || 1) + 1;
  var direction = start < end ? 1 : -1;
  var startingPoint = start - (direction * (offset || 0));
  var stepSize = direction * (step || 1);
  
  return Array(len).fill(0).map(function(_, index) {
    return startingPoint + (stepSize * index);
  });
  
}

console.log('range(1, 5)=> ' + range(1, 5));
console.log('range(5, 1)=> ' + range(5, 1));
console.log('range(5, 5)=> ' + range(5, 5));
console.log('range(-5, 5)=> ' + range(-5, 5));
console.log('range(-10, 5, 5)=> ' + range(-10, 5, 5));
console.log('range(1, 5, 1, 2)=> ' + range(1, 5, 1, 2));

here is how to use it

range (Start, End, Step=1, Offset=0);

  • inclusive - forward range(5,10) // [5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10]
  • inclusive - backward range(10,5) // [10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5]
  • step - backward range(10,2,2) // [10, 8, 6, 4, 2]
  • exclusive - forward range(5,10,0,-1) // [6, 7, 8, 9] not 5,10 themselves
  • offset - expand range(5,10,0,1) // [4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11]
  • offset - shrink range(5,10,0,-2) // [7, 8]
  • step - expand range(10,0,2,2) // [12, 10, 8, 6, 4, 2, 0, -2]

hope you find it useful.


And here is how it works.

Basically I'm first calculating the length of the resulting array and create a zero filled array to that length, then fill it with the needed values

  • (step || 1) => And others like this means use the value of step and if it was not provided use 1 instead
  • We start by calculating the length of the result array using (Math.abs(end - start) + ((offset || 0) * 2)) / (step || 1) + 1) to put it simpler (difference* offset in both direction/step)
  • After getting the length, then we create an empty array with initialized values using new Array(length).fill(0); check here
  • Now we have an array [0,0,0,..] to the length we want. We map over it and return a new array with the values we need by using Array.map(function() {})
  • var direction = start < end ? 1 : 0; Obviously if start is not smaller than the end we need to move backward. I mean going from 0 to 5 or vice versa
  • On every iteration, startingPoint + stepSize * index will gives us the value we need

var range = (l,r) => new Array(r - l).fill().map((_,k) => k + l);

Using Harmony spread operator and arrow functions:

var range = (start, end) => [...Array(end - start + 1)].map((_, i) => start + i);

Example:

range(10, 15);
[ 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15 ]

Did some research on some various Range Functions. Checkout the jsperf comparison of the different ways to do these functions. Certainly not a perfect or exhaustive list, but should help :)

The Winner is...

function range(lowEnd,highEnd){
    var arr = [],
    c = highEnd - lowEnd + 1;
    while ( c-- ) {
        arr[c] = highEnd--
    }
    return arr;
}
range(0,31);

Technically its not the fastest on firefox, but crazy speed difference (imho) on chrome makes up for it.

Also interesting observation is how much faster chrome is with these array functions than firefox. Chrome is at least 4 or 5 times faster.


The standard Javascript doesn't have a built-in function to generate ranges. Several javascript frameworks add support for such features, or as others have pointed out you can always roll your own.

If you'd like to double-check, the definitive resource is the ECMA-262 Standard.


You can use lodash or Undescore.js range:

var range = require('lodash/range')
range(10)
// -> [ 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 ]

Alternatively, if you only need a consecutive range of integers you can do something like:

Array.apply(undefined, { length: 10 }).map(Number.call, Number)
// -> [ 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 ]

In ES6 range can be implemented with generators:

function* range(start=0, end=null, step=1) {
  if (end == null) {
    end = start;
    start = 0;
  }

  for (let i=start; i < end; i+=step) {
    yield i;
  }
}

This implementation saves memory when iterating large sequences, because it doesn't have to materialize all values into an array:

for (let i of range(1, oneZillion)) {
  console.log(i);
}

Another version using ES6 generators ( see great Paolo Moretti answer with ES6 generators ):

const RANGE = (a,b) => Array.from((function*(x,y){
  while (x <= y) yield x++;
})(a,b));

console.log(RANGE(3,7));  // [ 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 ]

Or, if we only need iterable, then:

const RANGE_ITER = (a,b) => (function*(x,y){
  while (x <= y) yield x++;
})(a,b);

for (let n of RANGE_ITER(3,7)){
  console.log(n);
}

// 3
// 4
// 5
// 6
// 7

An interesting challenge would be to write the shortest function to do this. Recursion to the rescue!

function r(a,b){return a>b?[]:[a].concat(r(++a,b))}

Tends to be slow on large ranges, but luckily quantum computers are just around the corner.

An added bonus is that it's obfuscatory. Because we all know how important it is to hide our code from prying eyes.

To truly and utterly obfuscate the function, do this:

function r(a,b){return (a<b?[a,b].concat(r(++a,--b)):a>b?[]:[a]).sort(function(a,b){return a-b})}

I would code something like this:

function range(start, end) {
    return Array(end-start).join(0).split(0).map(function(val, id) {return id+start});
}  

range(-4,2);
// [-4,-3,-2,-1,0,1]

range(3,9);
// [3,4,5,6,7,8]

It behaves similarly to Python range:

>>> range(-4,2)
[-4, -3, -2, -1, 0, 1]

This may not be the best way. But if you are looking to get a range of numbers in a single line of code. For example 10 - 50

Array(40).fill(undefined).map((n, i) => i + 10)

Where 40 is (end - start) and 10 is the start. This should return [10, 11, ..., 50]


A rather minimalistic implementation that heavily employs ES6 can be created as follows, drawing particular attention to the Array.from() static method:

const getRange = (start, stop) => Array.from(
  new Array((stop - start) + 1),
  (_, i) => i + start
);

range(start,end,step): With ES6 Iterators

You only ask for an upper and lower bounds. Here we create one with a step too.

You can easily create range() generator function which can function as an iterator. This means you don't have to pre-generate the entire array.

function * range ( start, end, step = 1 ) {
  let state = start;
  while ( state < end ) {
    yield state;
    state += step;
  }
  return;
};

Now you may want to create something that pre-generates the array from the iterator and returns a list. This is useful for functions that accept an array. For this we can use Array.from()

const generate_array = (start,end,step) =>
  Array.from( range(start,end,step) );

Now you can generate a static array easily,

const array1 = generate_array(1,10,2);
const array1 = generate_array(1,7);

But when something desires an iterator (or gives you the option to use an iterator) you can easily create one too.

for ( const i of range(1, Number.MAX_SAFE_INTEGER, 7) ) {
  console.log(i)
}

Special Notes


Though this is not from PHP, but an imitation of range from Python.

function range(start, end) {
    var total = [];

    if (!end) {
        end = start;
        start = 0;
    }

    for (var i = start; i < end; i += 1) {
        total.push(i);
    }

    return total;
}

console.log(range(10)); // [0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9] 
console.log(range(0, 10)); // [0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9]
console.log(range(5, 10)); // [5, 6, 7, 8, 9] 

As far as generating a numeric array for a given range, I use this:

function range(start, stop)
{
    var array = [];

    var length = stop - start; 

    for (var i = 0; i <= length; i++) { 
        array[i] = start;
        start++;
    }

    return array;
}

console.log(range(1, 7));  // [1,2,3,4,5,6,7]
console.log(range(5, 10)); // [5,6,7,8,9,10]
console.log(range(-2, 3)); // [-2,-1,0,1,2,3]

Obviously, it won't work for alphabetical arrays.


Using Harmony generators, supported by all browsers except IE11:

var take = function (amount, generator) {
    var a = [];

    try {
        while (amount) {
            a.push(generator.next());
            amount -= 1;
        }
    } catch (e) {}

    return a;
};

var takeAll = function (gen) {
    var a = [],
        x;

    try {
        do {
            x = a.push(gen.next());
        } while (x);
    } catch (e) {}

    return a;
};

var range = (function (d) {
    var unlimited = (typeof d.to === "undefined");

    if (typeof d.from === "undefined") {
        d.from = 0;
    }

    if (typeof d.step === "undefined") {
        if (unlimited) {
            d.step = 1;
        }
    } else {
        if (typeof d.from !== "string") {
            if (d.from < d.to) {
                d.step = 1;
            } else {
                d.step = -1;
            }
        } else {
            if (d.from.charCodeAt(0) < d.to.charCodeAt(0)) {
                d.step = 1;
            } else {
                d.step = -1;
            }
        }
    }

    if (typeof d.from === "string") {
        for (let i = d.from.charCodeAt(0); (d.step > 0) ? (unlimited ? true : i <= d.to.charCodeAt(0)) : (i >= d.to.charCodeAt(0)); i += d.step) {
            yield String.fromCharCode(i);
        }
    } else {
        for (let i = d.from; (d.step > 0) ? (unlimited ? true : i <= d.to) : (i >= d.to); i += d.step) {
            yield i;
        }
    }
});

Examples

take

Example 1.

take only takes as much as it can get

take(10, range( {from: 100, step: 5, to: 120} ) )

returns

[100, 105, 110, 115, 120]

Example 2.

to not neccesary

take(10, range( {from: 100, step: 5} ) )

returns

[100, 105, 110, 115, 120, 125, 130, 135, 140, 145]

takeAll

Example 3.

from not neccesary

takeAll( range( {to: 5} ) )

returns

[0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5]

Example 4.

takeAll( range( {to: 500, step: 100} ) )

returns

[0, 100, 200, 300, 400, 500]

Example 5.

takeAll( range( {from: 'z', to: 'a'} ) )

returns

["z", "y", "x", "w", "v", "u", "t", "s", "r", "q", "p", "o", "n", "m", "l", "k", "j", "i", "h", "g", "f", "e", "d", "c", "b", "a"]


... more range, using a generator function.

function range(s, e, str){
  // create generator that handles numbers & strings.
  function *gen(s, e, str){
    while(s <= e){
      yield (!str) ? s : str[s]
      s++
    }
  }
  if (typeof s === 'string' && !str)
    str = 'abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz'
  const from = (!str) ? s : str.indexOf(s)
  const to = (!str) ? e : str.indexOf(e)
  // use the generator and return.
  return [...gen(from, to, str)]
}

// usage ...
console.log(range('l', 'w'))
//=> [ 'l', 'm', 'n', 'o', 'p', 'q', 'r', 's', 't', 'u', 'v', 'w' ]

console.log(range(7, 12))
//=> [ 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 ]

// first 'o' to first 't' of passed in string.
console.log(range('o', 't', "ssshhhooooouuut!!!!"))
// => [ 'o', 'o', 'o', 'o', 'o', 'u', 'u', 'u', 't' ]

// only lowercase args allowed here, but ...
console.log(range('m', 'v').map(v=>v.toUpperCase()))
//=> [ 'M', 'N', 'O', 'P', 'Q', 'R', 'S', 'T', 'U', 'V' ]

// => and decreasing range ...
console.log(range('m', 'v').map(v=>v.toUpperCase()).reverse())

// => ... and with a step
console.log(range('m', 'v')
          .map(v=>v.toUpperCase())
          .reverse()
          .reduce((acc, c, i) => (i % 2) ? acc.concat(c) : acc, []))

// ... etc, etc.

Hope this is useful.


My codegolfing coworker came up with this (ES6), inclusive:

(s,f)=>[...Array(f-s+1)].map((e,i)=>i+s)

non inclusive:

(s,f)=>[...Array(f-s)].map((e,i)=>i+s)

you can use lodash function _.range(10) https://lodash.com/docs#range


d3 also has a built-in range function. See https://github.com/mbostock/d3/wiki/Arrays#d3_range:

d3.range([start, ]stop[, step])

Generates an array containing an arithmetic progression, similar to the Python built-in range. This method is often used to iterate over a sequence of numeric or integer values, such as the indexes into an array. Unlike the Python version, the arguments are not required to be integers, though the results are more predictable if they are due to floating point precision. If step is omitted, it defaults to 1.

Example:

d3.range(10)
// returns [0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9]

Complete ES6 implementation using range([start, ]stop[, step]) signature:

function range(start, stop, step=1){
  if(!stop){stop=start;start=0;}
  return Array.from(new Array(int((stop-start)/step)), (x,i) => start+ i*step)
}

If you want automatic negative stepping, add

if(stop<start)step=-Math.abs(step)

Or more minimalistically:

range=(b, e, step=1)=>{
  if(!e){e=b;b=0}
  return Array.from(new Array(int((e-b)/step)), (_,i) => b<e? b+i*step : b-i*step)
}

If you have huge ranges look at Paolo Moretti's generator approach


There's an npm module bereich for that ("bereich" is the German word for "range"). It makes use of modern JavaScript's iterators, so you can use it in various ways, such as:

console.log(...bereich(1, 10));
// => 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10

const numbers = Array.from(bereich(1, 10));
// => [ 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 ]

for (const number of bereich(1, 10)) {
  // ...
}

It also supports descending ranges (by simply exchanging min and max), and it also supports steps other than 1.

Disclaimer: I am the author of this module, so please take my answer with a grain of salt.


This one works also in reverse.

const range = ( a , b ) => Array.from( new Array( b > a ? b - a : a - b ), ( x, i ) => b > a ? i + a : a - i );

range( -3, 2 ); // [ -3, -2, -1, 0, 1 ]
range( 1, -4 ); // [ 1, 0, -1, -2, -3 ]

You can use following one-liner to keep things short and simple

var start = 4;
var end = 20;
console.log(Array(end - start + 1).fill(start).map((x, y) => x + y));