You may use the @var tag to document the Type of the following Structural Elements :

  • Constants, both class and global scope
  • Properties
  • Variables, both global and local scope


@var ["Type"] [element_name] [<description>]


The @var tag defines which Type of data is represented by the value of a constant_, property or variable.

Each constant or property definition or variable where the Type is ambiguous or unknown SHOULD be preceded by a DocBlock containing the @var tag. Any other variable MAY be preceded with a DocBlock containing the @var tag.

The @var tag MUST contain the name of the element it documents. An exception to this is when a declaration only refers to a single property or constant. In that case, the name of the property or constant MAY be omitted.

The name is used when compound statements are used to define a series of constants or properties. Such a compound statement can only have one DocBlock while several items are represented.

Effects in phpDocumentor

Constants, properties and global variables, that are tagged with the @var tag, will have their Type displayed in their signature.

If the Type is a class that is documented by phpDocumentor, then a link to that class' documentation is provided.


/** @var int $int This is a counter. */
$int = 0;

// There should be no docblock here.

class Foo
     * Full docblock with a summary.
     * @var int
    const INDENT = 4;

    /** @var string|null Short docblock, should contain a description. */
    protected $description = null;

    public function setDescription($description)
        // There should be no docblock here.
        $this->description = $description;

Another example is to document the variable in a foreach explicitly; many IDEs use this information to help you with auto-completion:

/** @var \Sqlite3 $sqlite */
foreach ($connections as $sqlite) {
    // There should be no docblock here.

Even compound class constant and property statements may be documented:

class Foo
     * @var string $name        Should contain a description
     * @var string $description Should contain a description
    protected $name,
        $description = 'Default description';

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