How to find keys of a hash?


I know in javascript Objects double as hashes but i have been unable to find a built in function to get the keys

var h = {a:'b',c:'d'};

I want something like

var k = h.keys() ; // k = ['a','c'];

It is simple to write a function myself to iterate over the items and add the keys to an array that I return, but is there a standard cleaner way to do that?

I keep feeling it must be a simple built in function that I missed but I can't find it!

This question is tagged with javascript object key

~ Asked on 2008-08-20 21:35:59

9 Answers


There is function in modern JavaScript (ECMAScript 5) called Object.keys performing this operation:

var obj = { "a" : 1, "b" : 2, "c" : 3};
alert(Object.keys(obj)); // will output ["a", "b", "c"]

Compatibility details can be found here.

On the Mozilla site there is also a snippet for backward compatibility:

if(!Object.keys) Object.keys = function(o){
   if (o !== Object(o))
      throw new TypeError('Object.keys called on non-object');
   var ret=[],p;
   for(p in o) if(,p)) ret.push(p);
   return ret;

~ Answered on 2011-08-03 03:02:45


For production code requiring a large compatibility with client browsers I still suggest Ivan Nevostruev's answer above with shim to ensure Object.keys in older browsers. However, it's possible to get the exact functionality requested using ECMA's new defineProperty feature.

As of ECMAScript 5 - Object.defineProperty

As of ECMA5 you can use Object.defineProperty() to define non-enumerable properties. The current compatibility still has much to be desired, but this should eventually become usable in all browsers. (Specifically note the current incompatibility with IE8!)

Object.defineProperty(Object.prototype, 'keys', {
  value: function keys() {
    var keys = [];
    for(var i in this) if (this.hasOwnProperty(i)) {
    return keys;
  enumerable: false

var o = {
    'a': 1,
    'b': 2

for (var k in o) {
    console.log(k, o[k])


# > a 1
# > b 2
# > ["a", "b"]

However, since ECMA5 already added Object.keys you might as well use:

Object.defineProperty(Object.prototype, 'keys', {
  value: function keys() {
    return Object.keys(this);
  enumerable: false

Original answer

Object.prototype.keys = function ()
  var keys = [];
  for(var i in this) if (this.hasOwnProperty(i))
  return keys;

Edit: Since this answer has been around for a while I'll leave the above untouched. Anyone reading this should also read Ivan Nevostruev's answer below.

There's no way of making prototype functions non-enumerable which leads to them always turning up in for-in loops that don't use hasOwnProperty. I still think this answer would be ideal if extending the prototype of Object wasn't so messy.

~ Answered on 2008-08-20 21:55:40


you can use Object.keys


~ Answered on 2013-08-09 18:45:32


You could use Underscore.js, which is a Javascript utility library.

_.keys({one : 1, two : 2, three : 3}); 
// => ["one", "two", "three"]

~ Answered on 2011-08-11 14:15:19


This is the best you can do, as far as I know...

var keys = [];
for (var k in h)keys.push(k);

~ Answered on 2008-08-20 21:49:23


using jQuery you can get the keys like this:

var bobject =  {primary:"red",bg:"maroon",hilite:"green"};
var keys = [];
$.each(bobject, function(key,val){ keys.push(key); });
console.log(keys); // ["primary", "bg", "hilite"]


var bobject =  {primary:"red",bg:"maroon",hilite:"green"};
$.map(bobject, function(v,k){return k;});

thanks to @pimlottc

~ Answered on 2012-02-15 12:27:12


I believe you can loop through the properties of the object using for/in, so you could do something like this:

function getKeys(h) {
  Array keys = new Array();
  for (var key in h)
  return keys;

~ Answered on 2008-08-20 21:51:08


I wanted to use the top rated answer above

Object.prototype.keys = function () ...

However when using in conjunction with the google maps API v3, google maps is non-functional.

for (var key in h) ...

works well.

~ Answered on 2010-07-24 15:02:00


if you are trying to get the elements only but not the functions then this code can help you

this.getKeys = function() {

var keys = new Array();
for(var key in this) {

    if( typeof this[key] !== 'function') {

return keys;


this is part of my implementation of the HashMap and I only want the keys, this is the hashmap object that contains the keys

~ Answered on 2012-03-01 09:39:09

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