Writing a toString function to return part of an array but not the whole thing

So basically I have the array int[] i = {0,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9};

I want the toString method to return [0, 1, 2, 3, 4] only.

How would I do this without creating a new array?



You can't override the toString() method for primitive arrays, so you have to wrap it

-- Note: --

Unfortunately, this will not compile for primitive int[] arrays (your example), only Object[] arrays. See this question for details

Given the fact that you only need to return a String, simply start with a StringBuilder and loop over the range...

StringBuilder sb = new StringBuilder(12);
for (int index = 0; index < Math.min(5, i.length); index++) {
    if (sb.length() > 0) {
        sb.append(", ");
sb.insert(0, "[");

return sb.toString();

You can use Arrays.copyOf method to implement the function you wanted.

    int[] i = {0,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9};

    //Copy first 5 elements
    int[] copy = Arrays.copyOf(i, 5);

    //Print [0, 1, 2, 3, 4]

Or just Print it using the following code:

System.out.print(Arrays.toString(Arrays.copyOf(i, 5)));

It prints out [0, 1, 2, 3, 4] in console.

Source code of copyOf method is as follows: (JDK 1.6)

 * Copies the specified array, truncating or padding with zeros (if necessary)
 * so the copy has the specified length.  For all indices that are
 * valid in both the original array and the copy, the two arrays will
 * contain identical values.  For any indices that are valid in the
 * copy but not the original, the copy will contain <tt>0</tt>.
 * Such indices will exist if and only if the specified length
 * is greater than that of the original array.
 * @param original the array to be copied
 * @param newLength the length of the copy to be returned
 * @return a copy of the original array, truncated or padded with zeros
 *     to obtain the specified length
 * @throws NegativeArraySizeException if <tt>newLength</tt> is negative
 * @throws NullPointerException if <tt>original</tt> is null
 * @since 1.6
public static int[] copyOf(int[] original, int newLength) {
    int[] copy = new int[newLength];
    System.arraycopy(original, 0, copy, 0,
                     Math.min(original.length, newLength));
    return copy;

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