Variable Inspector


Variable Inspector allows you to easily inspect your PHP $variables in a visually clean manner at a central dashboard in wp-admin. It aims to be an easy and useful enough debug tool.

It provides a single-line code to inspect your variable (see “How to Use” below). Nothing is shown to site visitors nor being output on the frontend, and the $variable content is nicely formatted for review using var_dump(), var_export() and print_r() on the inspector dashboard in wp-admin.

It’s a real time-saver for scenarios where Xdebug or even something like Ray is not ideal or simply an overkill. For example, when coding on a non-local environment via tools like Code Snippets, WPCodeBox, Scripts Organizer or Advanced Scripts. Additionally, because it is a regular WordPress plugin, you simply install, activate and use without the need for complicated configuration.

How to Use

Simply place the following line anywhere in your code after the $variable_name you’d like to inspect:

do_action( 'inspect', [ 'variable_name', $variable_name ] );

If you’d like to record the originating PHP file and line number, append the PHP magic constants __FILE__ and __LINE__ as follows.

do_action( 'inspect', [ 'variable_name', $variable_name, __FILE__, __LINE__ ] );

This would help you locate and clean up the inspector lines once you’re done debugging.

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  • The main Variable Inspector page


How was this plugin built?

Variable Inspector was built with: WordPress Plugin Boilerplate | | CodeStar framework | Simple Accordion | Fomantic UI. It was originally inspired by WP Logger.


Հոկտեմբերի 10, 2022 11 replies
It is a great plugin for developer use! You can debug easily every variable without printing needed anymore. You also can add feature to "display all" and "hide all" by default, saving maybe to a cookie. And also let users save their favorite view "var_export" or "var_dump" or "print_r"
Օգոստոսի 27, 2022 1 reply
It does what it does very well, and doesn't try to do everything.
Մայիսի 17, 2022 3 replies
Works great on a single install, but not so much on a multisite. Any interest in making it work on a multisite? Either way, thanks for your work, love this thing.
Read all 3 reviews

Contributors & Developers

“Variable Inspector” is open source software. The following people have contributed to this plugin.


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Interested in development?

Browse the code, check out the SVN repository, or subscribe to the development log by RSS.


1.8.0 (2022.12.08)

  • Fix an issue where sometimes inspection shows empty or false result when result type is array or object.
  • Additional suppression of admin notices via all_admin_notices hook and via CSS.

1.7.1 (2022.10.25)

  • All admin notices are now suppressed, i.e. no longer shown, on the Variable Inspector page.

1.7.0 (2022.10.11)

  • Add viewer (function) selector, e.g. print_r, that will apply to all inspection results after the selection is made and will persist after page reload. The selection is stored in wp_options table. Different viewer can still be selected for each result. Props to @pexlechris for the feedback.

1.6.0 (2022.10.11)

1.5.0 (2022.10.09)

  • Remove CodeStar framework dependency and replace with lightweight solution
  • Dequeue public css and js files as they are empty and unused

1.4.0 (2022.08.18)

  • Add Refresh button and “Auto refresh” checkbox to load latest results. Props to @imantsk for the code and suggestion
  • Add quick tutorial on the inspector results page to enable users to quickly reference the inspector code

1.3.2 (2022.05.26)

  • Confirmed compatibility with WordPress 6.0

1.3.1 (2022.05.19)

  • Fixed output via var_export()
  • Better sanitization of variable name output
  • Update plugin description

1.2.0 (2022.04.14)

  • Fixed output buffering mistake causing the output of the ‘1’ character in variable values
  • NEW: implement tabbed output of var_export, var_dump and print_r

1.1.0 (2022.04.13)

  • Fixed “Fatal error: Uncaught Error: Call to undefined function dbDelta()”. Thanks to @rashedul007 for the fix!

1.0.1 (2022.04.13)

  • Initial stable release