ecFlow's documentation is now on readthedocs!

The Info Panel contains a Variables tab, providing a powerful place for viewing and editing the variables connected to the currently-selected node.

The panel is divided into sections, one for each level in the hierarchy from the server to the current node. Each node in this hierarchy has its own set of variables, and these are inherited by the selected node; this means that all the variables visible in the panel are active for the current node (with the exception of shadowed variables, see below).

Variable types

  • Variables defined in the suite definition are shown in black
  • Generated variables are shown in green and have a 'G' icon next to them
  • Shadowed variables (see below) are shown in grey and can be hidden
  • Read-only variables have a padlock icon next to them

Hovering the mouse cursor over a variable displays a small tooltip which also gives this information.

Finding variables

The controls at the top of the panel provide two different ways to find variables.

Filter mode reduces the list of variables shown, displaying only those whose name or value match the filter term.


Search mode shows the whole list of variables, but highlights those that match the search term.

Shadowed variables

A variable is called shadowed if it is redefined deeper in the node hierarchy. For example, it could be defined at the family level, and then again in a task within that family; in this case, the variable defined in the family is 'shadowed' by the one in the task and will not be used. Shadowed variables are displayed in grey. They can be shown or hidden with the 'V V' button in the Variables panel. By default, shadowed variables are visible in the panel.

In the above screenshot, the Family1 and Family variables are taken from the analysis level, not the 0 level, as the analysis node is closer in the hierarchy to the selected node.

Adding, deleting and modifying variables

Adding a variable

To add a new variable, either click the green 'plus' button or use the context menu. Note that the new variable will always be added to the selected node, even if you right-click within the variables section belonging to a parent in the hierarchy.

Deleting a variable

To delete a variable, either click the red 'X' button or use the context menu. Note that it is only possible to delete variables from the currently-selected node. You cannot delete variables from ancestors in the hierarchy; to do this, you must first select their node in the tree (or use the breadcrumbs).

Editing a variable

To edit a variable, either select it and then click the 'pencil and paper' icon, or right-click the variable and choose 'Edit variable' from the context menu. A shortcut is to double-click the variable. A simple dialogue allows for the modification of the variable's value:

If the name of the variable is changed, a new variable will be created and the old one will remain.

It is important to understand what happens when editing a variable inherited from higher in the hierarchy. In this case, the ancestor node is not modified, but a duplicate of its variable is created at the level of the selected node.

The following example shows what happens. Here, the node "get_observations" is selected and we will change a variable inherited from one of its parents, "0".

1. Here, the variable tree has been collapsed in order to show just the relevant parts. We've elected to modify the variable LAST_STEP. This is inherited from a node (0) higher in the hierarchy and does not exist locally in the selected node (get_observations). As the dialogue indicates, we will be modifying the get_observations node, not the 0 node

2. A confirmation box explains that a new variable called LAST_STEP will be created for the get_observations task, and the original one, on node 0, will now be shadowed.3. The result is shown. LAST_STEP is now local to get_observations, and the version in node 0 is shadowed, i.e. not inherited by get_observations.