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variant class

(PHP 4 >= 4.1.0, PHP 5, PHP 7, PHP 8)


The VARIANT is COM's equivalent of the PHP zval; it is a structure that can contain a value with a range of different possible types. The variant class provided by the COM extension allows you to have more control over the way that PHP passes values to and from COM.

Class synopsis

variant {
/* Methods */
public __construct ( mixed $value = null , int $type = VT_EMPTY , int $codepage = CP_ACP )

variant examples

Example #1 variant example

= new variant(42);
"The type is " variant_get_type($v) . "<br/>";
"The value is " $v "<br/>";


When returning a value or fetching a variant property, the variant is converted to a PHP value only when there is a direct mapping between the types that would not result in a loss of information. In all other cases, the result is returned as an instance of the variant class. You can force PHP to convert or evaluate the variant as a PHP native type by using a casting operator explicitly, or implicitly casting to a string by printing it. You may use the wide range of variant functions to perform arithmetic operations on variants without forcing a conversion or risking a loss of data.

See also variant_get_type().

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User Contributed Notes 2 notes

darren at dcook dot org
13 years ago
If you are frustrated that print_r($obj) (where $obj is something returned from a call to a function on a COM object) does not return anything helpful, and that variant_get_type($obj) just returns a number, the function you are actually after is:

It lists all functions, variables, their types in a human-readable (well, programmer-readable) format. Lovely!
richard dot quadling at carval dot co dot uk
18 years ago
With thanks to Harald Radi and Wez Furlong.

Some VBA functions have optional parameters. Sometimes the parameters you want to pass are not consecutive.


GoTo What:=wdGoToBookmark, Name="BookMarkName"

In PHP, the "blank" parameters need to be empty.

Which is ...

// Some servers may have an auto timeout, so take as long as you want.

// Show all errors, warnings and notices whilst developing.

// Used as a placeholder in certain COM functions where no parameter is required.
$empty = new VARIANT();

// Load the appropriate type library.

// Create an object to use.
$word = new COM('word.application') or die('Unable to load Word');
"Loaded Word, version {$word->Version}\n";

// Open a new document with bookmarks of YourName and YourAge.

// Fill in the information from the form.
$word->Selection->GoTo(wdGoToBookmark,$empty,$empty,'YourName'); // Note use of wdGoToBookmark, from the typelibrary and the use of $empty.


// Save it, close word and finish.
$word = null;
"Word closed.\n";

The example document is ...

Hello [Bookmark of YourName], you are [Bookmark of YourAge] years old.

and it would be called ...



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