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Working with variables in the data load editor

A variable in Qlik Sense is a container storing a static value or a calculation, for example a numeric or alphanumeric value. When you use the variable in the app, any change made to the variable is applied everywhere the variable is used. You can define variables in the variables overview, or in the script using the Data load editor. You set the value of a variable using Let or Set statements in the data load script.

Tip noteYou can also work with the Qlik Sense variables from the variables overview when editing a sheet. Using variables in expressions


If the first character of a variable value is an equals sign ' = ' Qlik Sense will try to evaluate the value as a formula (Qlik Sense expression) and then display or return the result rather than the actual formula text.

When used, the variable is substituted by its value. Variables can be used in the script for dollar sign expansion and in various control statements. This is very useful if the same string is repeated many times in the script, for example, a path.

Some special system variables will be set by Qlik Sense at the start of the script execution regardless of their previous values.

Defining a variable

Variables provide the ability to store static values or the result of a calculation. When defining a variable, use the following syntax:

set variablename = string


let variable = expression

The Set statement is used for string assignment. It assigns the text to the right of the equal sign to the variable. The Let statement evaluates an expression to the right of the equal sign at script run time and assigns the result of the expression to the variable.

Variables are case sensitive.

Information noteIt is not recommended to name a variable identically to a field or a function in Qlik Sense.


set x = 3 + 4; // the variable will get the string '3 + 4' as the value.

let x = 3 + 4; // returns 7 as the value.

set x = Today(); // returns 'Today()' as the value.

let x = Today(); // returns today's date as the value, for example, ‘9/27/2021’.

Deleting a variable

If you remove a variable from the script and reload the data, the variable stays in the app. If you want to fully remove the variable from the app, you must also delete the variable from the variables dialog.

For more information, see Deleting a variable.

Loading a variable value as a field value

If you want to load a variable value as a field value in a LOAD statement and the result of the dollar expansion is text rather than numeric or an expression then you need to enclose the expanded variable in single quotes.


This example loads the system variable containing the list of script errors to a table. You can note that the expansion of ScriptErrorCount in the If clause does not require quotes, while the expansion of ScriptErrorList requires quotes.

IF $(ScriptErrorCount) >= 1 THEN
LOAD '$(ScriptErrorList)' AS Error AutoGenerate 1; END IF

Variable calculation

There are several ways to use variables with calculated values in Qlik Sense, and the result depends on how you define it and how you call it in an expression.

In this example, we load some inline data:

LOAD * INLINE [ Dim, Sales A, 150 A, 200 B, 240 B, 230 C, 410 C, 330 ];

Let's define two variables:

Let vSales = 'Sum(Sales)' ;
Let vSales2 = '=Sum(Sales)' ;

In the second variable, we add an equal sign before the expression. This will cause the variable to be calculated before it is expanded and the expression is evaluated.

If you use the vSales variable as it is, for example in a measure, the result will be the string Sum(Sales), that is, no calculation is performed.

If you add a dollar-sign expansion and call $(vSales) in the expression, the variable is expanded, and the sum of Sales is displayed.

Finally, if you call $(vSales2), the variable will be calculated before it is expanded. This means that the result displayed is the total sum of Sales. The difference between using =$(vSales) and =$(vSales2) as measure expressions is seen in this chart showing the results:

Dim $(vSales) $(vSales2)
A 350 1560
B 470 1560
C 740 1560

As you can see, $(vSales) results in the partial sum for a dimension value, while $(vSales2) results in the total sum.

The following script variables are available:

Learn more


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