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- This article is about Scratch variables in general. For other uses, see Variable (disambiguation).
- "Value" redirects here. For the category of values, see Category:Values.
Variables are created with the button in the Variables palette.
There are five different blocks relating to variables:
|Note:||Click on a block to find out more.|
(variable) // This is the block that reports the value of a variable
set [variable v] to (0) // This sets a chosen variable to a specified value
change [variable v] by (1) // This changes the value of a chosen variable by a specified amount
show variable [variable v] // This shows the specified variable in the project player
hide variable [variable v] // This reverses the 'show variable' block
In Scratch 1.4, there were two types of variables, public (global), and private (local). In Scratch 2.0, another type was added — cloud. Cloud data variables are stored on the server, making their same values accessible by all users viewing the project.
By default, when a variable is created, it is a global variable. Global variables can be read and changed by any sprite, or the Stage. All variables are stored in RAM, and default to the values in the .sb or .sb2 file.
Local, (or private/personal) variables are created the same way as global, but another option is selected in the variable creation dialog, "For this sprite only". Personal variables can only be changed by their owner, but can be read by other sprites using the () of () block. The Stage cannot have local variables.
Local variables are extremely useful when a template sprite that needs to be duplicated and edited is wanted. For example, in a game where one must pop bubbles, a "bubble" sprite should be made which has personal variables like "speed" and should be programmed independently. Then it should be duplicated until there are enough bubbles. Since each bubble has an individual "speed" variable, they will not interfere with each other unlike if "speed" was a global variable.
|Note:||Clones inherit local variables into their properties, meaning that each clone has a separate number for the local variable.|
- Main article: Cloud Data
Cloud variables are variables that are stored on the cloud server. When a cloud variable updates, it does so across all copies of the project open, and it also gets saved for the next time the project is opened. Cloud variables have a small cloud icon next to their names. In the current version of Scratch, cloud variables can only hold data in numerical form, not text.
- Main article: What can I use variables for?
The look of the variable monitor can be changed into three forms: The normal readout, the large readout, and the slider. The form of the variable can be changed by double-clicking or right-clicking it and selecting the option that is wanted.
If the variable is set to "slider," there will be another option once right-clicked called "Change slider range." Choosing it will allow the user to define the range of the slider.
It can be chosen whether to hide or show a variable on the stage by clicking the tick box in the variable panel.
|This article or section documents something not included in the current version of Scratch (3.0). It is only useful from a historical perspective.|
Glitch variables could be made by naming them with names including %d (direction drop down/number insert), %s (text input), %m (variable drop down), %b (boolean), %n (number input), or %c (color input), which will look like those at the left. This is because Scratch reads the percent sign followed by certain letters as an argument. By naming a variable @greenFlag or @stop it will display a green flag or a stop sign, respectively, as seen at the right. Also, the codes @turnRight and @turnLeft create a rotate sign, right or left.
This bug was patched in v423 of Scratch and no longer works.
- Main article: List
A list is made of items — each item like a variable. Lists can be useful when many variables are needed or when the amount of memory that needs to be stored can not be determined by the programmer before the project is run. Unfortunately, lists can only store 200,000 items and not more.
As with list items, trying to join a string to a variable can only make the variable up to 10,240 characters long.
Cloud lists do not exist in Scratch 3.0. It has been suggested many times and is rejected by the Scratch Team. Cloud lists, if they existed, would be accessible by all scratchers via the cloud server.
Some Scratch Modifications contain cloud lists. Some projects also contain cloud lists, although they are very hard to make. The only way to make one is to encode and decode lists into and from cloud variables.
Types of Readouts
- Main article: Variable Monitor
If a variable stage monitor is right-clicked, a menu shows up with three options: normal readout, large readout, and slider. In Scratch 2.0 and before, there was also a show/hide option. In Scratch 1.4, the selected option had two asterisks (*) around it.
Variables are used in numerous projects to keep score, show health, connect with players, or list some friends. Here are some projects that use variables:
- https://scratch.mit.edu/projects/46587498/ - griffpatch's multiplayer "Terraria" game uses cloud data to connect players
- https://scratch.mit.edu/projects/52484548/ - LBMCompany's virtual telescope project uses variables to tell how many stars there are on the screen
- https://scratch.mit.edu/projects/26547147/ - MooShoeGaming's "The Front" project used variables as "True or False" statements to tell if the player is still alive.
- https://scratch.mit.edu/projects/34429446/ - djpro's guide to making platformer games has to have variables for the ball to move and jump as if gravity was affecting it.
Those were only a few examples of variables used in programs; variables are used widely in different projects around Scratch, and most more advanced projects use them.