C Multidimensional arrays and Delphi

Posted on 2004-10-27
Last Modified: 2010-04-05
How can I pass a Delphi Multidimensional array to a C function that has the following declaration?

int Teste(int **v, int l, int c)

I know that Delphi and C have different Multidimensional arrays memory organizations. But I could not find any resource explaining clearly how can I bypass that.


Question by:MauricioMaia
    LVL 26

    Assisted Solution

    by:Russell Libby

    The following will allow you to allocate a 2 dimensional integer array that can be passed to the C function. You didn't specifiy the number of dimensions, but looking at the Tests function, I made the assumtion that it was 2.

    // The declaration
    // type declarator [<constant-expression>]
    // declares an array composed of elements of type. An array consists of a
    // contiguous region of storage exactly large enough to hold all of its elements.
    // If an expression is given in an array declarator, it must evaluate to a
    // positive constant integer. The value is the number of elements in the
    // array. Each of the elements of an array is numbered from 0 through the
    // number of elements minus one.
    // Multidimensional arrays are constructed by declaring arrays of array type.

      IntegerArray      =  Array [0..Pred(MaxInt shr 4)] of Integer;
      PIntegerArray     =  ^IntegerArray;
      TMDIntegerArray   =  Array [0..Pred(MaxInt shr 4)] of PIntegerArray;
      PMDIntegerArray   =  ^TMDIntegerArray;

    function CreateMDIntArray(Rows, Cols: Integer): PMDIntegerArray;
    var  dwIndex:    Integer;

      // We will allocate one more row than required (AND leave it null). This will
      // allow us to free the array without knowing the actual number of rows
      result:=AllocMem(Succ(Rows) * SizeOf(PIntegerArray));

      // Allocate memory for each row (except the last)
      for dwIndex:=0 to Pred(Rows) do result^[dwIndex]:=AllocMem(Cols * SizeOf(Integer));


    procedure FreeMDIntArray(MDIntArray: PMDIntegerArray);
    var  dwIndex:    Integer;

      // Set starting index

      // Walk the rows until null is reached
      while Assigned(MDIntArray^[dwIndex]) do

      // Free the array


    var  pmdaTest:      PMDIntegerArray;

      // Create the multidimensional array
      pmdaTest:=CreateMDIntArray(10, 5);

      // Set [5, 0] to = 100

      // Pass the array to the teste function (used 5 and 0 for the other params, just for example)
      Teste(pmdaTest, 5, 0);

      // Free the array



    Hope this helps,


    Accepted Solution


    Static array types
    A static array is stored as a contiguous sequence of variables of the component type of the array. The components with the lowest indexes are stored at the lowest memory addresses. A multidimensional array is stored with the rightmost dimension increasing first.

    ANSI C (and C++ i believ)

    Multidimensional Arrays
    Multidimensional arrays are simply arrays of arrays (of arrays of arrays...)
    A multidimensional array like m[3][2] is stored in consecutive memory locations as m[0][0], m[0][1], m[1][0], m[1][1], m[2][0], m[2][1]

    So if you are using a Static interger array you should simply be able to pass the delphi array into the C function by typecasting the array to a pointer.

    NOTE: In C teh int **V is just a pointer to a memory location, which is the first integer in the array

    Here is some sample delphi code with a C like function i wrote to test this

      INTARRAY = ^integer;   // int *
      PINTARRAY = ^INTARRAY; // int **

    // Test function to simulate a C style multidimesional integer array
    // int Teste(int **v, int l, int c)
    function Teste(v : PINTARRAY; cols : integer; rows : integer) : integer; stdcall;
      idxC, idxR : integer;
      memAddr : integer;
      value : integer;
      for idxR := 0 to Rows - 1 do
        for idxC := 0 to Cols - 1 do
          //start + (y * width) + x;      width := sizeof(integer) * x)
          memAddr := integer(v) + (idxR * (sizeof(integer) * cols)) + (idxC * 4);
          value := INTARRAY(memAddr) ^;

        result := 0;

    procedure TForm1.Button2Click(Sender: TObject);
      COLCOUNT = 10;
      ROWCOUNT = 5;
      col : integer;
      row : integer;
      aryDelphi : array[0..COLCOUNT - 1,0..ROWCOUNT - 1] of integer; // [cols, rows]

      //Fill in the array values
      for row := 0 to 4 do
        for col := 0 to 9 do
          aryDelphi[col][row] := (col * 5) + row;

      //I have assumed the Teste function will loop through the array using l and c
      // as the cols and orws value, in this case 10 columns by 5 rows
      Teste(@aryDelphi, COLCOUNT, ROWCOUNT);

    Hope it helps

    Richard Owen

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