How to Use attr_accessor in Ruby



In this article, you will learn how to use attr_accessor in Ruby.

Using attr_accessor

In Ruby, attr_accessor is a shorthand for creating getter and setter methods for a class instance variable. It is used to define an attribute with both read and write capabilities.

Here is an example:

class Person
  attr_accessor :name
  def initialize(name)
    @name = name

In the example above, attr_accessor is used to define the name attribute. This creates both a getter and setter method for the instance variable @name.

We can now create an instance of the Person class and use the name attribute:

person ="John")
puts #=> "John" = "Jane"
puts #=> "Jane"

In the above example, we create a new Person object with the name “John” and use the name getter method to output the name. We then set the name to “Jane” using the name= setter method and output the name again to confirm that it has been updated.


Here are some more details about attr_accessor in Ruby:

  • attr_accessor is actually a combination of two other methods, attr_reader and attr_writer. attr_reader creates only the getter method for an instance variable, while attr_writer creates only the setter method. attr_accessor combines these two methods to create both getter and setter methods.
  • You can use attr_accessor to define multiple attributes at once, separated by commas:

    class Person
      attr_accessor :name, :age, :gender
  • attr_accessor works by creating instance variables for each attribute you define. For example, in the above Person class, attr_accessor :name creates an instance variable @name that can be accessed by the getter and setter methods.
  • You can also define attributes using attr_reader and attr_writer separately, if you only need one of the methods:

    class Person
      attr_reader :name
      attr_writer :age
  • attr_accessor is commonly used in object-oriented programming to create objects with attributes that can be accessed and modified externally. This makes it easier to create objects that can interact with other objects and systems.