How to Pass Variables and Data from PHP to JavaScript

If you have a variable in PHP and need its value in your JavaScript code, you can follow several approaches to achieve this. In this article, we will explore different methods to pass variables and data from PHP to JavaScript in a seamless manner. We will cover both simple variable passing and passing complex data structures between the two languages.

Method 1: Using Inline PHP in JavaScript

One common method to pass a PHP variable to JavaScript is by embedding the variable value directly into the JavaScript code using inline PHP.


    var val = <?php echo $val; ?>;

In this example, the PHP variable "$val" is echoed directly into the JavaScript code using the inline PHP tags "<?php ?>". This method can work well for simple variables, but it may not be suitable for all scenarios.


  • Inline PHP can make the JavaScript code harder to read and maintain, especially in larger projects.
  • If the PHP variable contains characters that need to be escaped in JavaScript, such as quotes or backslashes, additional precautions need to be taken to ensure proper encoding.
  • It may not be possible to use this method if the JavaScript code is stored in an external file or generated dynamically.

Method 2: Using AJAX to Retrieve Data from PHP

Another method to pass variables from PHP to JavaScript is by making an AJAX request to a PHP script that returns the desired data.


var xhr = new XMLHttpRequest();'GET', 'get-data.php', true);
xhr.onload = function() {
    if (xhr.status === 200) {
        var data = xhr.responseText;

In this example, the JavaScript code uses the XMLHttpRequest object to send a GET request to a PHP script called "get-data.php". The PHP script then processes the request and returns the desired data, which is logged to the console in the JavaScript code.


  • Using AJAX adds additional complexity to your code.
  • It requires setting up a separate PHP script to handle the AJAX request.
  • It may introduce some latency as the request needs to be sent to the server and a response needs to be received.
  • If you need to pass multiple variables, the data returned by the PHP script may need to be in a specific format, such as JSON.

Method 3: Using Hidden Form Fields

If you are working with forms in PHP and need to pass form data to JavaScript, you can use hidden form fields to store the values and access them in your JavaScript code.


<form id="myForm" action="submit.php" method="post">
    <input type="hidden" name="val" value="<?php echo $val; ?>">
    <button type="submit">Submit</button>

    var form = document.getElementById('myForm');
    var val = form.elements.val.value;

In this example, a hidden form field is used to store the value of the PHP variable "$val". When the form is submitted, the value is sent to a PHP script for further processing. In the JavaScript code, the value can be accessed by accessing the "val" element of the form's elements object.


  • This method is limited to passing form data and may not be suitable for passing variables that are not related to form submissions.
  • If you need to pass multiple variables, additional hidden form fields will be required.

Method 4: Using JSON Encoding

If you need to pass more complex data structures from PHP to JavaScript, you can use JSON encoding to convert the data into a JSON string that can be easily consumed by JavaScript.


$data = array('name' => 'John Doe', 'age' => 30, 'city' => 'New York');
$jsonData = json_encode($data);

    var data = JSON.parse('<?php echo $jsonData; ?>');

In this example, a PHP array is encoded into a JSON string using the json_encode function. The resulting JSON string is then embedded into the JavaScript code using inline PHP, and parsed into a JavaScript object using JSON.parse.


  • This method adds some extra processing overhead as the data needs to be encoded and decoded.
  • If the data being passed is very large, it can impact the performance of your application.


Passing variables and data from PHP to JavaScript is a common requirement in web development. By using methods like inline PHP, AJAX requests, hidden form fields, or JSON encoding, you can effectively pass the desired information from PHP to JavaScript. Each method has its advantages and disadvantages, so choose the one that best fits your specific use case.