The Iterator trait tells you how to iterate once you have created an iterator. The related trait IntoIterator defines how to create an iterator for a type. It is used automatically by the for loop.

struct Grid {
    x_coords: Vec<u32>,
    y_coords: Vec<u32>,

impl IntoIterator for Grid {
    type Item = (u32, u32);
    type IntoIter = GridIter;
    fn into_iter(self) -> GridIter {
        GridIter { grid: self, i: 0, j: 0 }

struct GridIter {
    grid: Grid,
    i: usize,
    j: usize,

impl Iterator for GridIter {
    type Item = (u32, u32);

    fn next(&mut self) -> Option<(u32, u32)> {
        if self.i >= self.grid.x_coords.len() {
            self.i = 0;
            self.j += 1;
            if self.j >= self.grid.y_coords.len() {
                return None;
        let res = Some((self.grid.x_coords[self.i], self.grid.y_coords[self.j]));
        self.i += 1;

fn main() {
    let grid = Grid { x_coords: vec![3, 5, 7, 9], y_coords: vec![10, 20, 30, 40] };
    for (x, y) in grid {
        println!("point = {x}, {y}");
This slide should take about 5 minutes.

Click through to the docs for IntoIterator. Every implementation of IntoIterator must declare two types:

  • Item: the type to iterate over, such as i8,
  • IntoIter: the Iterator type returned by the into_iter method.

Note that IntoIter and Item are linked: the iterator must have the same Item type, which means that it returns Option<Item>

The example iterates over all combinations of x and y coordinates.

Try iterating over the grid twice in main. Why does this fail? Note that IntoIterator::into_iter takes ownership of self.

Fix this issue by implementing IntoIterator for &Grid and storing a reference to the Grid in GridIter.

The same problem can occur for standard library types: for e in some_vector will take ownership of some_vector and iterate over owned elements from that vector. Use for e in &some_vector instead, to iterate over references to elements of some_vector.