[SOLVED] How to sort an array of objects in Java?


My array does not contain any string. But its contains object references. Every object reference returns name, id, author and publisher by toString method.

public String toString() {
        return (name + "\n" + id + "\n" + author + "\n" + publisher + "\n");

Now I need to sort that array of objects by the name. I know how to sort, but I do not know how to extract the name from the objects and sort them.


You have two ways to do that, both use the Arrays utility class

  1. Implement a Comparator and pass your array along with the comparator to the sort method which take it as second parameter.
  2. Implement the Comparable interface in the class your objects are from and pass your array to the sort method which takes only one parameter.


class Book implements Comparable<Book> {
    public String name, id, author, publisher;
    public Book(String name, String id, String author, String publisher) {
        this.name = name;
        this.id = id;
        this.author = author;
        this.publisher = publisher;
    public String toString() {
        return ("(" + name + ", " + id + ", " + author + ", " + publisher + ")");
    public int compareTo(Book o) {
        // usually toString should not be used,
        // instead one of the attributes or more in a comparator chain
        return toString().compareTo(o.toString());

public void sortBooks() {
    Book[] books = {
            new Book("foo", "1", "author1", "pub1"),
            new Book("bar", "2", "author2", "pub2")

    // 1. sort using Comparable

    // 2. sort using comparator: sort by id
    Arrays.sort(books, new Comparator<Book>() {
        public int compare(Book o1, Book o2) {
            return o1.id.compareTo(o2.id);


[(bar, 2, author2, pub2), (foo, 1, author1, pub1)]
[(foo, 1, author1, pub1), (bar, 2, author2, pub2)]

Answered By – A4L

Answer Checked By – Willingham (BugsFixing Volunteer)

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