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Java try...catch

In this tutorial, we will learn about the try catch statement in Java with the help of examples.

The try...catch block in Java is used to handle exceptions and prevents the abnormal termination of the program.

Here's the syntax of a try...catch block in Java.

try{
  // code
}
catch(exception) {
  // code
}

The try block includes the code that might generate an exception.

The catch block includes the code that is executed when there occurs an exception inside the try block.

Example: Java try...catch block

class Main {
  public static void main(String[] args) {

    try {
      int divideByZero = 5 / 0;
      System.out.println("Rest of code in try block");
    }

    catch (ArithmeticException e) {
      System.out.println("ArithmeticException => " + e.getMessage());
    }
  }
}

Output

ArithmeticException => / by zero

In the above example, notice the line,

int divideByZero = 5 / 0;

Here, we are trying to divide a number by zero. In this case, an exception occurs. Hence, we have enclosed this code inside the try block.

When the program encounters this code, ArithmeticException occurs. And, the exception is caught by the catch block and executes the code inside the catch block.

The catch block is only executed if there exists an exception inside the try block.

Note: In Java, we can use a try block without a catch block. However, we cannot use a catch block without a try block.


Java try...finally block

We can also use the try block along with a finally block.

In this case, the finally block is always executed whether there is an exception inside the try block or not.

Example: Java try...finally block

class Main {
  public static void main(String[] args) {
    try {
      int divideByZero = 5 / 0;
    }

    finally {
      System.out.println("Finally block is always executed");
    }
  }
}

Output

Finally block is always executed
Exception in thread "main" java.lang.ArithmeticException: / by zero
        at Main.main(Main.java:4)

In the above example, we have used the try block along with the finally block. We can see that the code inside the try block is causing an exception.

However, the code inside the finally block is executed irrespective of the exception.


Java try...catch...finally block

In Java, we can also use the finally block after the try...catch block. For example,

import java.io.*;

class ListOfNumbers {

  // create an integer array
  private int[] list = {5, 6, 8, 9, 2};

  // method to write data from array to a fila
  public void writeList() {
    PrintWriter out = null;

    try {
      System.out.println("Entering try statement");

      // creating a new file OutputFile.txt
      out = new PrintWriter(new FileWriter("OutputFile.txt"));

      // writing values from list array to Output.txt
      for (int i = 0; i < 7; i++) {
        out.println("Value at: " + i + " = " + list[i]);
      }
    }
    
    catch (Exception e) {
      System.out.println("Exception => " + e.getMessage());
    }
    
    finally {
      // checking if PrintWriter has been opened
      if (out != null) {
        System.out.println("Closing PrintWriter");
        // close PrintWriter
        out.close();
      }
      
      else {
        System.out.println("PrintWriter not open");
      }
    }

  }
}

class Main {
  public static void main(String[] args) {
    ListOfNumbers list = new ListOfNumbers();
    list.writeList();
  }
}

Output

Entering try statement
Exception => Index 5 out of bounds for length 5
Closing PrintWriter

In the above example, we have created an array named list and a file named output.txt. Here, we are trying to read data from the array and storing to the file.

Notice the code,

for (int i = 0; i < 7; i++) {
  out.println("Value at: " + i + " = " + list[i]);
}

Here, the size of the array is 5 and the last element of the array is at list[4]. However, we are trying to access elements at a[5] and a[6].

Hence, the code generates an exception that is caught by the catch block.

Since the finally block is always executed, we have included code to close the PrintWriter inside the finally block.

It is a good practice to use finally block to include important cleanup code like closing a file or connection.

Note: There are some cases when a finally block does not execute:

  • Use of System.exit() method
  • An exception occurs in the finally block
  • The death of a thread

Multiple Catch blocks

For each try block, there can be zero or more catch blocks. Multiple catch blocks allow us to handle each exception differently.

The argument type of each catch block indicates the type of exception that can be handled by it. For example,

class ListOfNumbers {
  public int[] arr = new int[10];

  public void writeList() {

    try {
      arr[10] = 11;
    }
    
    catch (NumberFormatException e1) {
      System.out.println("NumberFormatException => " + e1.getMessage());
    }
    
    catch (IndexOutOfBoundsException e2) {
      System.out.println("IndexOutOfBoundsException => " + e2.getMessage());
    }

  }
}

class Main {
  public static void main(String[] args) {
    ListOfNumbers list = new ListOfNumbers();
    list.writeList();
  }
}

Output

IndexOutOfBoundsException => Index 10 out of bounds for length 10

In this example, we have created an integer array named arr of size 10.

Since the array index starts from 0, the last element of the array is at arr[9]. Notice the statement,

arr[10] = 11;

Here, we are trying to assign a value to the index 10. Hence, IndexOutOfBoundException occurs.

When an exception occurs in the try block,

  • The exception is thrown to the first catch block. The first catch block does not handle an IndexOutOfBoundsException, so it is passed to the next catch block.
  • The second catch block in the above example is the appropriate exception handler because it handles an IndexOutOfBoundsException. Hence, it is executed.

Catching Multiple Exceptions

From Java SE 7 and later, we can now catch more than one type of exception with one catch block.

This reduces code duplication and increases code simplicity and efficiency.

Each exception type that can be handled by the catch block is separated using a vertical bar |.

Its syntax is:

try {
  // code
} catch (ExceptionType1 | Exceptiontype2 ex) { 
  // catch block
}

To learn more, visit Java catching multiple exceptions.


Java try-with-resources statement

The try-with-resources statement is a try statement that has one or more resource declarations.

Its syntax is:

try (resource declaration) {
  // use of the resource
} catch (ExceptionType e1) {
  // catch block
}

The resource is an object to be closed at the end of the program. It must be declared and initialized in the try statement.

Let's take an example.

try (PrintWriter out = new PrintWriter(new FileWriter("OutputFile.txt")) {
  // use of the resource
}

The try-with-resources statement is also referred to as automatic resource management. This statement automatically closes all the resources at the end of the statement.

To learn more, visit the java try-with-resources statement.

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