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How can I print the name of an object in an ArrayList?

Looks like you want to print the name of the variable which meets certain criteria and is stored in your collection (your List). This is not possible in Java since at runtime you can't access to the name of the variables. In this cases, you should add a field in the class that helps you identify the object instance you're working with. This field could be an int id or String name (to keep it simple).

To make things easier, add this field in your Box class:

public class Box {
    //fields already declared here...
    //adding name field
    protected String name;
    public String getName() {
    public void setName(String name) { = name;

Then, fulfill this field when creating the objects:

//setting the name of the object just
with the name of the variable
//just for understanding purposes
//you cannot access to the name of the variable at
runtime, no matter what
//also, you need to change the constructor of each
class accordingly
ShoeBox nike = new ShoeBox("nike");
Box present = new CandyBox("present",3,2,6);
JewelryBox gift = new JewelryBox("gift");
Box pictures = new ShoeBox("pictures");
Box skittles=new CandyBox("skittles",6,3,1);
CandyBox dots=new CandyBox("dots",3,2,1);
Box jareds=new JewelryBox("jareds");

And then, when an object matches with your criteria, you can use it for what you want/need e.g.

  • Criteria: The largest volume
  • What to do: display it's name to the user


double temp = 0;
Box boxWithLargestVolume = null;
for (Box box : boxes) {
    if (temp < x.getVolume()) {
        temp = x.getVolume();
        boxWithLargestVolume = box;
if (boxWithLargestVolume != null) {
    System.out.println("The box with the largest
volume is: "
        + boxWithLargestVolume.getName());

Categories : Java

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