Is there any equivalent of var_export or var_dump available in Drupal, that would output variables directly to the console object (FF, Chrome - console.log() or console.info())? I just don't feel like turning Devel & Themer stuff on and off every time I want to peek into variables...

1 Answer 1


The Drupal for Firebug module (which can be used with Chrome or Firefox) has a firep() function built in which will log a print_r of any variable passed to it into the Drupal for Firebug widget. That might be an option.

If you really want a console log, though, I think you'd have to write the functionality yourself. It isn't too hard though, here's a quick module I knocked up that works well for me:

File: js_debug.info

name = JS Debug
core = 7.x

File: js_debug.module

function js_debug_log($var = NULL) {
  $log = &drupal_static(__FUNCTION__, array());

  if ($var) {
    $log[] = $var;

  return $log;

function js_debug_page_alter(&$page) {
  drupal_add_js(drupal_get_path('module', 'js_debug') . '/js_debug.js', 'file');
  drupal_add_js(array('js_debug' => array('messages' => js_debug_log())), 'setting');

File: js_debug.js

(function($) {
  $(function() {
    if (Drupal.settings.js_debug.messages) {
      for (var i = 0; i < Drupal.settings.js_debug.messages.length; i++) {

The above code is obviously very bare, and doesn't check to make sure console.log() is available, etc. But it will work fine in Chrome/Firefox for any var (including arrays and objects).

To use, simply call js_debug_log($var); from code; the variable you pass will be logged in the console as you'd expect.

  • 2
    I edited the js_debug_page_alter function to add the js file :) Now works like a charm! Thanks a bunch Clive! Commented May 5, 2012 at 18:55
  • @Artur Sorry about that, I had that bit in a hook_init() function which I somehow managed to miss when I copied and pasted!
    – Clive
    Commented May 5, 2012 at 21:01
  • No problem whatsoever, it's always kind of a useful lesson! Commented May 5, 2012 at 21:05
  • @Clive, is there any particular reason you are using hook_pager_alter here instead of something else? It is because it is a "late" hook in the page generation process?
    – mpdonadio
    Commented May 5, 2012 at 23:54
  • @MPD That was my thinking yes. I couldn't think of another hook that would get called later, but still in time to actually be included in the current page request
    – Clive
    Commented May 6, 2012 at 0:08

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