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cables DocumentationHow To UseWorking with filesKeyboard ShortcutsUser Interface WalkthroughBeginner TutorialBeginner 1: Drawing A CircleBeginner 2: TransformationsBeginner 3: ColorMore TransformationsintermediateImage CompositionsPost-Processing 3D Scenescommunicationcables APICommunication with an Arduino via SerialCommunicating with Arduino over MQTTExporting And EmbeddingHow to serve files externally and fix CORS headersExporting PatchesExport using the cables command line interfaceExport via IframeExport creating a standalone executableExport to github (pages)Export and deploy to netlifyExport a ZIP fileExternal triggers / functionsUsing variablesPreviewing / uploading exported cables patchescoding opsCreating AttachmentsGeneral op/Port CallbacksPortsDynamic PortsArray PortsBoolean portsInteger Number PortsObject PortsString portsTrigger PortsFloating Point Number PortsGUI/UI attributesHello Op - Part 1LibrariesDeveloping OpsGuidelinesObject PortsWriting ShadersWeb Audio Op DevelopmentHTML and CSS in cablesLightingLightsShadowsWorking with audioBasic Audio SetupWorking with EffectsReal-Time Audio Analyzation & Audio VisualizationOffline Audio Visualization & AnalyzationFAQEmbeddingHow to integrate my cables patch into my CMS (webflow/wix/squarespace/...)?getting a warning when running the patch in electronHow to remove grey rectangles on touch (mobile)?Why doesn't the DownloadTexture op work on iOS?How to disable page scrolling on mobile?Mobile tippsTransparent CanvasFeatures and SupportHow to contribute code to cablesWill there be support for (animated) GIFs?How to report a bug in cablesGeneral questionsLicences and paymentWhat 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?ShadertoyTechnical questionsUI / EditorGuide to VR in cablesWebGL1 and WebGL2

Using variables


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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