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2D Array in C Programming Language

Updated on May 28, 2012

We know how to work with an array (1D array) having one dimension. In C language it is possible to have more than one dimension in an array. In this tutorial we are going to learn how we can use two dimensional arrays (2D arrays) to store values. Because it is a 2D array so its structure will be different from one dimension array (1D array). The 2D array is also known as Matrix or Table, it is an array of array. See the 2D array image, in that image each row is an array.

Declaration of 2D array:

Syntax: data_type array_name[row_size][column_size];
Example: int arr[3][3];
So the above example declares a 2D array of integer type. This integer array has been named arr and it can hold up to 9 elements (3 rows x 3 columns).

2D array image

This image is just a conceptual structure of 2D arrays. This 2D array image will help you to access any value stored in array.
This image is just a conceptual structure of 2D arrays. This 2D array image will help you to access any value stored in array. | Source

Memory Map of 2D Array

This image illustrates how 2D array is actually stored in memory.
This image illustrates how 2D array is actually stored in memory. | Source

Code for assigning & displaying 2D Array


void main()
int i, j;
int arr[3][3]={
		{12, 45, 63},
		{89, 34, 73},
		{19, 76, 49}
printf(":::2D Array Elements:::\n\n");

Displaying 2D array using for loop.


So in the above example we have declared a 2D array named arr which can hold 3x3 elements. We have also initialized that array with values, because we told the compiler that this array will contain 3 rows (0 to 2) so we divided elements accordingly. Elements for column have been differentiated by a comma (,). When compiler finds comma in array elements then it assumes comma as beginning of next element value. We can also define the same array in other ways, like.
int arr[3][3]={12, 45, 63, 89, 34, 73, 19, 76, 49}; or,
int arr[ ][3]={12, 45, 63, 89, 34, 73, 19, 76, 49};

But this kind of declaration is not acceptable in C language programming.

int arr[2][ ]={12, 45, 63, 89, 34, 73, 19, 76, 49}; or,
int arr[ ][ ]={12, 45, 63, 89, 34, 73, 19, 76, 49};

To display 2D array elements we have to just point out which element value we want to display. In our example we have a arr[3][3], so the array element reference will be from arr[0][0] to arr[2][2]. We can print display any element from this range. But in our example I have used for loop for my convenience, otherwise I had to write 9 printf statements to display all elements of array. So for loop i handles row of 2D array and for loop j handles column. I have formatted the output display of array so that we can see the elements in tabular form.

Visitor's Opinion

Is this tutorial on 2D-Array clear enough to understand?

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    • profile image

      usha 3 years ago

      WAP which input 2 integer in 2D array and find sum of odd integer?

    • profile image

      amsareka 4 years ago

      understandable explanation keep it up and thanks

    • profile image

      k.sinduja reddy 4 years ago

      k.not bad

    • profile image

      gajanan 4 years ago


    • profile image

      NAveed Cheema 5 years ago

      your code is not correct

    • profile image

      rima 5 years ago

      aaaaaa shutttte

    • profile image

      hhh...d 5 years ago

      write aprogram read the integar 10 elements into an array and display it reverse order?

    • profile image

      plz gve more examples in practical like using students 5 years ago

      very useful

    • profile image

      sanju 5 years ago

      write program of maximum and minimum using twodemension array using c

    • profile image

      pmuralimohan 6 years ago

      nice,very good thank you

    • profile image

      6 years ago


    • profile image

      Dhaval 6 years ago

      Write a program that creates a two-dimensional array with 10 rows and 2 columns. The first column should be filled with 10 random numbers between 0 and 100. The second column should contain the squared value of the element found in column 1. Using the show ( ) method of the MessageBox class, display a table. Please someone help me out on this program?????

    • profile image

      madelyn 6 years ago

      it is not easy making array statement without following the example given by the instructor or else the teacher

    • profile image

      zoya 6 years ago

      its not enough,,abut array more explanation shud be there,,

    • profile image

      HIMA 6 years ago


    • profile image

      Rahul 6 years ago

      it is awesome

    • profile image

      Sunil 6 years ago

      C is very easy to learn

    • profile image

      mamatha.k 6 years ago

      not bad

    • profile image

      sivaramakash 6 years ago


    • profile image

      sreeji 6 years ago

      is there any difference between these two assignment?

      int arr[ ][3]={12, 45, 63, 89, 34, 73, 19, 76, 49};


      int arr[3 ][]={12, 45, 63, 89, 34, 73, 19, 76, 49};

      compiler shows second one is wrong..y?

    • profile image

      YAQOOB 6 years ago

      yesterday i was completely confuse when i was writing 2d array prog but now now my concept is totally clear about it

    • profile image

      Nisha 7 years ago

      Thank you friend for written data type.

    • profile image

      pavan 7 years ago

      i want merging two dimensional arrays in c language

    • profile image

      selvi.k 7 years ago

      hi frnds i got some idea about arrays after seeing tat

    • profile image

      Parvez 7 years ago

      Nice...Thank you.

    • profile image

      amrik 7 years ago

      Way too much ads crap. Impossible to read normally.

    • profile image

      Meena 7 years ago

      I have clear idea when i was seen this site. Thank you

    • profile image

      ryan 7 years ago

      thanks... i can use it on my class...

    • profile image

      kashya[ 8 years ago

      very good site

      i got my all problems clear

    • profile image

      bucles 8 years ago