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Local variables are created with the local statement. Their scope is limited to the block where they are declared.


a = 1 -- global variable
local b = 2 -- local variable

Global variables are stored in the "global environment table" which is generally accessible to all functions. Local variables are only visible to the block in which they are "seen". For example:

function foo ()
  local x = 42  -- x is only visible inside foo
  y = 63  -- global variable y is changed
end -- function foo

In this example if there was another variable "x" somewhere else in the program, it would not be affected by the local variable x inside foo.

Be aware that if you redefine a local variable you get a new one of the same name. Eg.

function foo ()
  local x = 42  -- x is only visible inside foo
  -- do various things here

  local x = 43  -- this is a new variable x, we have not changed the earlier one
end -- function foo

If you want to change an existing local variable, do not use the word local again, eg.

function foo ()
  local x = 42  -- x is only visible inside foo
  -- do various things here

  x = 43  -- we have changed the earlier one
end -- function foo

See Also ...

Lua keywords/topics

data types
for (generic)
for (numeric)
if / then / else
logical operators
relational operators
string literals


Lua base functions
Lua bc (big number) functions
Lua bit manipulation functions
Lua coroutine functions
Lua debug functions
Lua io functions
Lua LPEG library
Lua math functions
Lua os functions
Lua package functions
Lua PCRE regular expression functions
Lua script extensions
Lua SQLite (database) interface
Lua string functions
Lua syntax
Lua table functions
Lua utilities
Scripting callbacks - plugins

(Help topic: lua=local)

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Written by Nick Gammon - 5K   profile for Nick Gammon on Stack Exchange, a network of free, community-driven Q&A sites   Marriage equality

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