2017 © Pedro Peláez

library php-ref

A nicer print_r/var_dump alternative for PHP 5.3+



A nicer print_r/var_dump alternative for PHP 5.3+

  • Sunday, August 6, 2017
  • by fellowgeek
  • Repository
  • 1 Watchers
  • 0 Stars
  • 25 Installations
  • PHP
  • 0 Dependents
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  • 1 Versions
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This is a fork of digitalnature/php-ref, modified to fit the OhCrud framework better.

REF, or r() is a nicer alternative to PHP's print_r / var_dump functions., (*1)



  • (server) PHP 5.3+ (5.4+ displays additional info)
  • (client) Any browser, except IE 8 and lower of course

Installation using Composer

Add REF to your composer.json:, (*2)

    "require": {
        "fellowgeek/php-ref": "dev-master"

Now tell composer to download the bundle by running:, (*3)

bash $ php composer.phar update digitalnature/php-ref, (*4)

Composer will install the bundle to the directory vendor/fellowgeek., (*5)


Basic example:, (*6)

// include the class (not needed if project runs with Composer because it's auto-loaded)
require '/full/path/to/ref.php';

// display info about defined classes

// display info about global variables

To print in text mode you can use the rt() function instead:, (*7)


To terminate the script after the info is dumped, prepend the bitwise NOT operator:, (*8)

~r($var);   // html
~rt($var);  // text

Prepending the error control operator (@) will return the information:, (*9)

$output = @r($var);   // html
$output = @rt($var);  // text

Keyboard shortcuts (javascript must be enabled):, (*10)

  • X - collapses / expands all levels

To modify the global configuration call ref::config():, (*11)

// example: initially expand first 3 levels
ref::config('expLvl', 3);

Currently available options and their default values:, (*12)

Option Default Description
'expLvl' 1 Initially expanded levels (for HTML mode only). A negative value will expand all levels
'maxDepth' 6 Maximum depth (0 to disable); note that disabling it or setting a high value can produce a 100+ MB page when input involves large data
'showIteratorContents' FALSE Display iterator data (keys and values)
'showResourceInfo' TRUE Display additional information about resources
'showMethods' TRUE Display methods and parameter information on objects
'showPrivateMembers' FALSE Include private properties and methods
'showStringMatches' TRUE Perform and display string matches for dates, files, json strings, serialized data, regex patterns etc. (SLOW)
'formatters' array() Custom/external formatters (as associative array: format => className)
'shortcutFunc' array('r', 'rt') Shortcut functions used to detect the input expression. If they are namespaced, the namespace must be present as well (methods are not supported)
'stylePath' '{:dir}/ref.css' Local path to a custom stylesheet (HTML only); FALSE means that no CSS is included.
'scriptPath' '{:dir}/ref.js' Local path to a custom javascript (HTML only); FALSE means no javascript (tooltips / toggle / kbd shortcuts require JS)
'showUrls' TRUE Gets information about URLs. Setting to false can improve performance (requires showStringMatches to be TRUE)


http://opensource.org/licenses/mit-license.html, (*13)

The Versions

06/08 2017


9999999-dev https://github.com/fellowgeek/php-ref

A nicer print_r/var_dump alternative for PHP 5.3+

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The Requires

  • php >=5.3.0


debug var_dump