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# Determining the Size of an Array

All arrays come with an instance variable named `length`, which indicates the current number of elements in the array (including undefined elements). To access an array's `length` variable, we use the dot operator, like so:

````theArray`.length
```

Here are a few examples:

```var list:Array = [34, 45, 57];
trace(list.length);               // Displays: 3

var words:Array = ["this", "that", "the other"];
trace(words.length);              // Displays: 3

var cards:Array = new Array(24);  // Note the single numeric argument
// used with the Array() constructor
trace(cards.length);              // Displays: 24```

The `length` of an array is always 1 greater than the index of its last element. For example, an array with elements at indexes 0, 1, and 2 has a length of 3. And an array with elements at indexes 0, 1, 2, and 50 has a length of 51. 51? Yes, 51. Even though indexes 3 through 49 are empty, they still contribute to the length of the array. The index of the last element of an array is always `theArray``.length − 1` (because index numbers begin at 0, not 1). Therefore, to access the last element of `theArray`, we use the following code:

``theArray`[`theArray`.length − 1]`

If we add and remove elements, the array's `length` variable is updated to reflect our changes. In fact, we can even set the `length` variable to add or remove elements at the end of an array. This is in contrast to the String class's `length` variable, which is read-only. Shortening the `length` of an array removes elements beyond the new `length`.

Using an array's ...

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