Convert string to variable name in JavaScript


I’ve looked for solutions, but couldn’t find any that work.

I have a variable called onlyVideo.

"onlyVideo" the string gets passed into a function. I want to set the variable onlyVideo inside the function as something. How can I do that?

(There are a number of variables that could be called into the function, so I need it to work dynamically, not hard coded if statements.)

Edit: There’s probably a better way of doing what you’re attempting to do. I asked this early on in my JavaScript adventure. Check out how JavaScript objects work.

A simple intro:

// create JavaScript object
var obj = { "key1": 1 };

// assign - set "key2" to 2
obj.key2 = 2;

// read values
obj.key1 === 1;
obj.key2 === 2;

// read values with a string, same result as above
// but works with special characters and spaces
// and of course variables
obj["key1"] === 1;
obj["key2"] === 2;

// read with a variable
var key1Str = "key1";
obj[key1Str] === 1;
9/1/2017 4:27:21 PM

Accepted Answer

If it's a global variable then window[variableName] or in your case window["onlyVideo"] should do the trick.

6/14/2013 4:39:15 PM

As far as eval vs. global variable solutions...

I think there are advantages to each but this is really a false dichotomy. If you are paranoid of the global namespace just create a temporary namespace & use the same technique.

var tempNamespace = {};
var myString = "myVarProperty";

tempNamespace[myString] = 5;

Pretty sure you could then access as tempNamespace.myVarProperty (now 5), avoiding using window for storage. (The string could also be put directly into the brackets)


var myString = "echoHello";

window[myString] = function() {


Say no to the evil eval. Example here:


You can access the window object as an associative array and set it that way

window["onlyVideo"] = "TEST";

The window['variableName'] method ONLY works if the variable is defined in the global scope. The correct answer is "Refactor". If you can provide an "Object" context then a possible general solution exists, but there are some variables which no global function could resolve based on the scope of the variable.

    var findMe = 'no way';

If you're trying to access the property of an object, you have to start with the scope of window and go through each property of the object until you get to the one you want. Assuming that a.b.c has been defined somewhere else in the script, you can use the following:

var values = window;
var str = 'a.b.c'.values.split('.');

for(var i=0; i < str.length; i++)
    values = values[str[i]];

This will work for getting the property of any object, no matter how deep it is.


Licensed under: CC-BY-SA with attribution
Not affiliated with: Stack Overflow
Email: [email protected]