Artificial viscosity is added either implicitly or explicitly in practically every numerical scheme for suppressing spurious oscillations in the solution of fluid-dynamics equations. In the present central-difference scheme, artificial viscosity is added explicitly for suppressing high-frequency oscillations and achieving good convergence properties. The amount of artificial viscosity added is controlled through the use of preselected coefficients. In the standard scheme, scalar coefficients based on the spectral radii of the Jacobian of the convective fluxes are used. However, this can add too much viscosity to the slower waves. Hence, the use of matrix-valued coefficients, which give appropriate viscosity for each wave component, is suggested. With the matrix-valued coefficients, the central-difference scheme produces more accurate solutions on a given grid, particularly in the vicinity of shocks and boundary layers, while still maintaining good convergence properties.