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JavaScript Set

From WikiOD

The Set object lets you store unique values of any type, whether primitive values or object references.

Set objects are collections of values. You can iterate through the elements of a set in insertion order. A value in the Set may only occur ONCE; it is unique in the Set's collection. Distinct values are discriminated using the SameValueZero comparison algorithm.

Standard Specification About Set

Syntax[edit | edit source]

  • new Set([iterable])
  • mySet.add(value)
  • mySet.clear()
  • mySet.delete(value)
  • mySet.entries()
  • mySet.forEach(callback[, thisArg])
  • mySet.has(value)
  • mySet.values()

Parameters[edit | edit source]

Parameter Details
iterable If an iterable object is passed, all of its elements will be added to the new Set. null is treated as undefined.
value The value of the element to add to the Set object.
callback Function to execute for each element.
thisArg Optional. Value to use as this when executing callback.

Remarks[edit | edit source]

Because each value in the Set has to be unique, the value equality will be checked and is not based on the same algorithm as the one used in the === operator. Specifically, for Sets, +0 (which is strictly equal to -0) and -0 are different values. However, this has been changed in the latest ECMAScript 6 specification. Starting with Gecko 29.0 (Firefox 29 / Thunderbird 29 / SeaMonkey 2.26) (bug 952870) and a recent nightly Chrome, +0 and -0 are treated as the same value in Set objects. Also, NaN and undefined can also be stored in a Set. NaN is considered the same as NaN (even though NaN !== NaN).

Creating a Set[edit | edit source]

The Set object lets you store unique values of any type, whether primitive values or object references.

You can push items into a set and iterate them similar to a plain JavaScript array, but unlike array, you cannot add a value to a Set if the value already exist in it.

To create a new set:

const mySet = new Set();

Or you can create a set from any iterable object to give it starting values:

const arr = [1,2,3,4,4,5];
const mySet = new Set(arr);

In the example above the set content would be {1, 2, 3, 4, 5}. Note that the value 4 appears only once, unlike in the original array used to create it.

Adding a value to a Set[edit | edit source]

To add a value to a Set, use the .add() method:


If the value already exist in the set it will not be added again, as Sets contain unique values.

Note that the .add() method returns the set itself, so you can chain add calls together:


Removing value from a set[edit | edit source]

To remove a value from a set, use .delete() method:


This function will return true if the value existed in the set and was removed, or false otherwise.

Checking if a value exist in a set[edit | edit source]

To check if a given value exists in a set, use .has() method:


Will return true if someVal appears in the set, false otherwise.

Clearing a Set[edit | edit source]

You can remove all the elements in a set using the .clear() method:


Getting set length[edit | edit source]

You can get the number of elements inside the set using the .size property

const mySet = new Set([1, 2, 2, 3]);
mySet.size; // 4

This property, unlike Array.prototype.length, is read-only, which means that you can't change it by assigning something to it:

mySet.size = 5;
mySet.size; // 4

In strict mode it even throws an error:

TypeError: Cannot set property size of #<Set> which has only a getter

Converting Sets to arrays[edit | edit source]

Sometimes you may need to convert a Set to an array, for example to be able to use Array.prototype methods like .filter(). In order to do so, use Array.from() or destructuring-assignment:

var mySet = new Set([1, 2, 3, 4]);
//use Array.from
const myArray = Array.from(mySet);
//use destructuring-assignment
const myArray = [...mySet];

Now you can filter the array to contain only even numbers and convert it back to Set using Set constructor:

mySet = new Set(myArray.filter(x => x % 2 === 0));

mySet now contains only even numbers:

console.log(mySet); // Set {2, 4}

Intersection and difference in Sets[edit | edit source]

There are no build-in methods for intersection and difference in Sets, but you can still achieve that but converting them to arrays, filtering, and converting back to Sets:

var set1 = new Set([1, 2, 3, 4]),
    set2 = new Set([3, 4, 5, 6]);

const intersection = new Set(Array.from(set1).filter(x => set2.has(x)));//Set {3, 4}
const difference = new Set(Array.from(set1).filter(x => !set2.has(x))); //Set {1, 2}

Iterating Sets[edit | edit source]

You can use a simple for-of loop to iterate a Set:

const mySet = new Set([1, 2, 3]);

for (const value of mySet) {
  console.log(value); // logs 1, 2 and 3

When iterating over a set, it will always return values in the order they were first added to the set. For example:

const set = new Set([4, 5, 6])
set.add(5) //5 already exists in the set
Array.from(set) //[4, 5, 6, 10]

There's also a .forEach() method, similar to Array.prototype.forEach(). It has two parameters, callback, which will be executed for each element, and optional thisArg, which will be used as this when executing callback.

callback has three arguments. The first two arguments are both the current element of Set (for consistency with Array.prototype.forEach() and Map.prototype.forEach()) and the third argument is the Set itself.

mySet.forEach((value, value2, set) => console.log(value)); // logs 1, 2 and 3