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cables Documentation      How To Use            Working with files            Keyboard Shortcuts            User Interface Walkthrough      Beginner Tutorial            Beginner 1: Drawing A Circle            Beginner 2: Transformations            Beginner 3: Color            More Transformations      intermediate            Image Compositions            Post-Processing 3D Scenes      communication            cables API            Communication with an Arduino via Serial            Communicating with Arduino over MQTT      Exporting And Embedding            How to serve files externally and fix CORS headers            Embedding Patches            External triggers / functions            Embedding Patches            Previewing / uploading exported cables patches      coding ops            Creating Attachments            General op/Port Callbacks            Ports                  Dynamic Ports                  Array Ports                  Boolean ports                  Integer Number Ports                  Object Ports                  String ports                  Trigger Ports                  Floating Point Number Ports            GUI/UI attributes            Hello Op - Part 1            Libraries            Developing Ops            Guidelines            Object Ports            Writing Shaders            Web Audio Op Development      HTML and CSS in cables      Lighting            Lights            Shadows      FAQ            Embedding                  How to remove grey rectangles on touch (mobile)?                  Why doesn't the DownloadTexture op work on iOS?                  How to disable page scrolling on mobile?                  Transparent Canvas            Features and Support                  Will there be support for (animated) GIFs?            General questions            Licences and payment                  What licence do i need to use cables?                  Will I have to pay for it in the future?                  How is my work licenced when using cables?            Does cables support midi and OSC?            Shadertoy            Technical questions            UI / Editor            WebGL1 and WebGL2

Embedding Patches


To work with variables in cables you can use the ops SetVariable / SetVariableString and Variable.
Variables are handy if you need the same values in many locations in your patch and don’t neet to see the connections or if you want to set a variable from outside cables.



  • SetVariable – Set the value of the variable (for Number / Boolean)
  • SetVariableString – Set the value of the variable (for String)
  • Variable - Read the variable value (for Number / Boolean / String)

In a typical Situations you have one SetVariable / SetVariableString op and multiple Variable ops.

Settings variables from outside cables

When you embed a patch into your website (see Docs: Embedding) you can set cables-variables in your JavaScript-code:

short version:


long version (get the variable object)

var myVar = CABLES.patch.getVar("IsInteracting");

if(myVar) {
    // get the current value
    var currentValue = myVar.getValue();

    // change the value

Please Note: Variable names are case sensitive, so a variable with name My Variable is different to one with name my variable.

Listening to variable changes

You can add a listener to a variable which gets called every time the variable changes:

var myVar = CABLES.patch.getVar("IsInteracting");

if(myVar) {
    // will be called every time value changes
    myVar.addListener(function(newValue) {

pre initializing variables for embeded patch

you can overwrite the initial value of a variable in the patch config:

    patch = new CABLES.Patch({
        ... // usual stuff


Test setting / getting variables without leaving cables

If you want to test certain aspects of your patch which involve getting / setting variables from outside cables you can do so from the terminal:

  • Open the browser terminal by hitting cmd + alt + i.
  • Switch the context to "editorframe" via the dropdown selector above the console. (cables editor runs in a iframe sandbox)
    then enter:
var myCablesVar = gui.corePatch().getVar('name of your variable');
console.log(myCablesVar.getValue()); // prints 123

Summarising: If you want to access a variable from outside cables use CABLES.patch.getVar…, if you want to test getting / setting variables without leaving cables, use gui.corePatch().getVar….

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