Sort Multidimensional Array With PHP

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Most of us work with php multidimensional arrays on daily basis. There are times when we need to quickly sort multidimensional array and get results back in a new array. Most will find it a bit tricky. Below is a great solution to solve multidimensional array sorting.

//Lets create a sample multidimensional array:

$unSortedArray['cat1'] = "aArrayItem1";
$unSortedArray['cat2'] = "bArrayItem1";

$unSortedArray['cat1'] = "aArrayItem2";
$unSortedArray['cat2'] = "bArrayItem2";

$unSortedArray['cat1'] = "aArrayItem3";
$unSortedArray['cat2'] = "bArrayItem3";

Next, we will add following function to our code.

function array_sort($array, $on, $order=SORT_ASC)
    $new_array = array();
    $sortable_array = array();

    if (count($array) > 0) {
        foreach ($array as $k => $v) {
            if (is_array($v)) {
                foreach ($v as $k2 => $v2) {
                    if ($k2 == $on) {
                        $sortable_array[$k] = $v2;
            } else {
                $sortable_array[$k] = $v;

        switch ($order) {
            case SORT_ASC:
            case SORT_DESC:

        foreach ($sortable_array as $k => $v) {
            $new_array[$k] = $array[$k];

    return $new_array;

And finally, let’s call this function and store result in a new array.

//Call function and store it in a new array:
$sortedArray = array_sort($unSortedArray, 'cat1', SORT_ASC);
//$sortedArray = array_sort($unSortedArray, 'cat1', SORT_DESC);

As you can see, this is a very quick and simple solution to sort multidimensional arrays. If you find this post helpful, please leave your comments or other possible solutions.

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