{% if var is defined %}


{% if var is not null %}

Is there a difference in usage of them?

2 Answers 2


is defined - The variable has been defined, and set to any value (or null).

is not null - The variable has been defined, and is specifically not null.

In PHP terms, it's like the difference between is_null() vs. checking whether the variable exists using get_defined_vars() (see this Stack Overflow thread for a little more clarity)

Try this experiment... Without setting myVar, put this in your template:

{{ (myVar is defined) }}

Since that equates to false, nothing will appear in your template. Now change it to this:

{{ (myVar is not null) }}

That will actually throw an error, since myVar was never defined.

  • 1
    Now I understand ))
    – nicael
    Commented Jun 20, 2014 at 20:40
  • 1
    You're a machine, Lindsey.
    – Brad Bell
    Commented Jun 20, 2014 at 21:40
  • Apparently there's some merit to this "gamification" concept. ;)
    – Lindsey D
    Commented Jun 20, 2014 at 21:45
  • Technically is null is a test, too. Anything starting with “is” or “is not” is a test. is null is just testing for a null value, whereas is defined is testing for whether the value exists at all. Commented Jun 21, 2014 at 5:42
  • Very good point @BrandonKelly, I actually learned that a few hours after I posted this answer. I'll go ahead and update my answer. Thanks!
    – Lindsey D
    Commented Jun 21, 2014 at 5:47

The first statement checks for the existence of var, the second checks that it has a value other than null and will throw and error if var does not exist.

If you're not sure whether a variable exists, you should check if it exists first then check for its value to be safe.

You could combine both statements like so {% if var is defined and var is not null %} or use empty, not empty if you're feeling fancy: )

  • Hey dude, sorry for simultaneously posting! I should probably ease up a bit and give others a chance to answer a few questions. :)
    – Lindsey D
    Commented Jun 20, 2014 at 20:52
  • 1
    No worries bro, you answer is much better: ) Keep up the good work! Commented Jun 20, 2014 at 20:54
  • 2
    @LindseyD I agree! Give others (me) a chance. In fact, please start emailing me answers.
    – Matt Stein
    Commented Jun 20, 2014 at 20:56

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