Special Vars Quick Reference

$_The default or implicit variable.
@_Subroutine parameters.
sort comparison routine variables.
@ARGVThe command-line args.
Regular Expressions
$<digit>Regexp parenthetical capture holders.
$&Last successful match (degrades performance).
${^MATCH}Similar to $& without performance penalty. Requires /p modifier.
$`Prematch for last successful match string (degrades performance).
${^PREMATCH}Similar to $` without performance penalty. Requires /p modifier.
$'Postmatch for last successful match string (degrades performance).
${^POSTMATCH}Similar to $' without performance penalty. Requires /p modifier.
$+Last paren match.
$^NLast closed paren match (last submatch).
@+Offsets of ends of successful submatches in scope.
@-Offsets of starts of successful submatches in scope.
%+Like @+, but for named submatches.
%-Like @-, but for named submatches.
$^RLast regexp (?{code}) result.
${^RE_DEBUG_FLAGS}Current value of regexp debugging flags. See use re 'debug';
${^RE_TRIE_MAXBUF}Control memory allocations for RE optimizations for large alternations.
${^ENCODING}The object reference to the Encode object, used to convert the source code to Unicode.
${^OPEN}Internal use: \0 separated Input / Output layer information.
${^UNICODE}Read-only Unicode settings.
${^UTF8CACHE}State of the internal UTF-8 offset caching code.
${^UTF8LOCALE}Indicates whether UTF8 locale was detected at startup.
IO and Separators
$.Current line number (or record number) of most recent filehandle.
$/Input record separator.
$|Output autoflush. 1=autoflush, 0=default. Applies to currently selected handle.
$,Output field separator (lists)
$\Output record separator.
$"Output list separator. (interpolated lists)
$;Subscript separator. (Use a real multidimensional array instead.)
$%Page number for currently selected output channel.
$=Current page length.
$-Number of lines left on page.
$~Format name.
$^Name of top-of-page format.
$:Format line break characters
$^LForm feed (default "\f").
$^AFormat Accumulator
Status Reporting
$?Child error. Status code of most recent system call or pipe.
$!Operating System Error. (What just went 'bang'?)
%!Error number hash
$^EExtended Operating System Error (Extra error explanation).
$@Eval error.
${^CHILD_ERROR_NATIVE}Native status returned by the last pipe close, backtick (`` ) command, successful call to wait() or waitpid(), or from the system() operator.
ID's and Process Information
$$Process ID
$<Real user id of process.
$>Effective user id of process.
$(Real group id of process.
$)Effective group id of process.
$0Program name.
$^OOperating System name.
Perl Status Info
$]Old: Version and patch number of perl interpreter. Deprecated.
$^CCurrent value of flag associated with -c switch.
$^DCurrent value of debugging flags
$^FMaximum system file descriptor.
$^IValue of the -i (inplace edit) switch.
$^MEmergency Memory pool.
$^PInternal variable for debugging support.
$^RLast regexp (?{code}) result.
$^SExceptions being caught. (eval)
$^TBase time of program start.
$^VPerl version.
$^WStatus of -w switch
${^WARNING_BITS}Current set of warning checks enabled by use warnings;
$^XPerl executable name.
${^GLOBAL_PHASE}Current phase of the Perl interpreter.
$^HInternal use only: Hook into Lexical Scoping.
%^HInternaluse only: Useful to implement scoped pragmas.
${^TAINT}Taint mode read-only flag.
${^WIN32_SLOPPY_STAT}If true on Windows stat() won't try to open the file.
Command Line Args
ARGVFilehandle iterates over files from command line (see also <>).
$ARGVName of current file when reading <>
@ARGVList of command line args.
ARGVOUTOutput filehandle for -i switch
@FAutosplit (-a mode) recipient.
@INCList of library paths.
%INCKeys are filenames, values are paths to modules included via use, require,or do.
%ENVHash containing current environment variables
%SIGSignal handlers.
$[Array and substr first element (Deprecated!).

See perlvar for detailed descriptions of each of these (and a few more) special variables.

When modifiying special variables, it is often a good practice to localize the effects of the change. ie,

my @array = ( 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 ); print "@array\n"; { local $" = "\t"; print "@array\n"; } print "@array\n";

And the output.....

1 2 3 4 5 1 2 3 4 5 1 2 3 4 5

The purpose of this node is to provide a super-concise categorized quick crossreference to Perl's special variables. perlvar provides a list in asciibetical order but doesn't really put the variables into easy to find categories.