Ruby Language View an object's methods


Inspecting an Object

You can find the public methods an object can respond to using either the methods or public_methods methods, which return an array of symbols:

class Foo
  def bar; 42; end
f =
def f.yay; 17; end
p f.methods.sort
#=> [:!, :!=, :!~, :<=>, :==, :===, :=~, :__id__, :__send__, :bar, :class, :clone,
#=>  :define_singleton_method, :display, :dup, :enum_for, :eql?, :equal?, :extend,
#=>  :freeze, :frozen?, :hash, :inspect, :instance_eval, :instance_exec,
#=>  :instance_of?, :instance_variable_defined?, :instance_variable_get,
#=>  :instance_variable_set, :instance_variables, :is_a?, :itself, :kind_of?, 
#=>  :method, :methods, :nil?, :object_id, :private_methods, :protected_methods,
#=>  :public_method, :public_methods, :public_send, :remove_instance_variable,
#=>  :respond_to?, :send, :singleton_class, :singleton_method, :singleton_methods,
#=>  :taint, :tainted?, :tap, :to_enum, :to_s, :trust, :untaint, :untrust,
#=>  :untrusted?, :yay]

For a more targeted list, you can remove methods common to all objects, e.g.

p (f.methods - Object.methods).sort
#=> [:bar,:yay]

Alternatively, you can pass false to methods or public_methods:

p f.methods(false) # public and protected singleton methods of `f`
#=> [:yay]

p f.public_methods(false)
#=> [:yay, :bar]

You can find the private and protected methods of an object using private_methods and protected_methods:

p f.private_methods.sort
#=> [:Array, :Complex, :DelegateClass, :Float, :Hash, :Integer, :Rational, :String,
#=>  :__callee__, :__dir__, :__method__, :`, :abort, :at_exit, :autoload, :autoload?,
#=>  :binding, :block_given?, :caller, :caller_locations, :catch,
#=>  :default_src_encoding, :eval, :exec, :exit, :exit!, :fail, :fork, :format, :gem,
#=>  :gem_original_require, :gets, :global_variables, :initialize, :initialize_clone,
#=>  :initialize_copy, :initialize_dup, :irb_binding, :iterator?, :lambda, :load,
#=>  :local_variables, :loop, :method_missing, :open, :p, :print, :printf, :proc,
#=>  :putc, :puts, :raise, :rand, :readline, :readlines, :require, :require_relative,
#=>  :respond_to_missing?, :select, :set_trace_func, :singleton_method_added,
#=>  :singleton_method_removed, :singleton_method_undefined, :sleep, :spawn,
#=>  :sprintf, :srand, :syscall, :system, :test, :throw, :trace_var, :trap,
#=>  :untrace_var, :warn]

p f.protected_methods
#=> []

As with methods and public_methods, you can pass false to private_methods and protected_methods to trim away inherited methods.

Inspecting a Class or Module

In addition to methods, public_methods, protected_methods, and private_methods, classes and modules expose instance_methods, public_instance_methods, protected_instance_methods, and private_instance_methods to determine the methods exposed for objects that inherit from the class or module. As above, you can pass false to these methods to exclude inherited methods:

p Foo.instance_methods.sort
#=> [:!, :!=, :!~, :<=>, :==, :===, :=~, :__id__, :__send__, :bar, :class,
#=>  :clone, :define_singleton_method, :display, :dup, :enum_for, :eql?,
#=>  :equal?, :extend, :freeze, :frozen?, :hash, :inspect, :instance_eval,
#=>  :instance_exec, :instance_of?, :instance_variable_defined?,
#=>  :instance_variable_get, :instance_variable_set, :instance_variables,
#=>  :is_a?, :itself, :kind_of?, :method, :methods, :nil?, :object_id,
#=>  :private_methods, :protected_methods, :public_method, :public_methods,
#=>  :public_send, :remove_instance_variable, :respond_to?, :send,
#=>  :singleton_class, :singleton_method, :singleton_methods, :taint,
#=>  :tainted?, :tap, :to_enum, :to_s, :trust, :untaint, :untrust, :untrusted?]

p Foo.instance_methods(false)
#=> [:bar]

Finally, if you forget the names of most of these in the future, you can find all of these methods using methods:

p f.methods.grep(/methods/)
#=> [:private_methods, :methods, :protected_methods, :public_methods,
#=>  :singleton_methods]

p Foo.methods.grep(/methods/)
#=> [:public_instance_methods, :instance_methods, :private_instance_methods,
#=>  :protected_instance_methods, :private_methods, :methods,
#=>  :protected_methods, :public_methods, :singleton_methods]