PHP has large number of predefined constants. This HOWTO will present the seven most important, most practical and most useful PHP Magic Constants.

  • __FILE__ – The full path and filename of the file.
  • __DIR__ – The directory of the file.
  • __FUNCTION__ – The function name.
  • __CLASS__ – The class name.
  • __METHOD__ – The class method name.
  • __LINE__ – The current line number of the file.
  • __NAMESPACE__ – The name of the current namespace

This is example PHP script with comments, which demonstrate howto use all previously mentioned PHP Magic Constants.


	// Set namespace (works only with PHP 5.3)
	namespace TestProject;

	// This prints file full path and name
	echo "This file full path and file name is '" . __FILE__ . "'.\n";

	// This prints file full path, without file name
	echo "This file full path is '" . __DIR__ . "'.\n";

	// This prints current line number on file
	echo "This is line number " . __LINE__ . ".\n";

	// Really simple basic test function
	function test_function_magic_constant() {
		echo "This is from '" . __FUNCTION__ . "' function.\n";

	// Prints function and used namespace

	// Really simple class for testing magic constants
	class TestMagicConstants {
		// Prints class name
		public function printClassName() {
			echo "This is " . __CLASS__ . " class.\n";

		// Prints class and method name
		public function printMethodName() {
			echo "This is " . __METHOD__ . " method.\n";

		// Prints function name
		public function printFunction() {
			echo "This is function '" . __FUNCTION__ . "' inside class.\n";

		// Prints namespace name (works only with PHP 5.3)
		public function printNamespace() {
			echo "Namespace name is '" . __NAMESPACE__ . "'.\n";

	// Create new TestMagicConstants class
	$test_magic_constants = new TestMagicConstants;

	// This prints class name and used namespace

	// This prints method name and used namespace

	// This prints function name inside class and used namespace
	// same as method name, but without class

	// This prints namespace name (works only with PHP 5.3)


This file full path is '/tmp/magic_constants'.
This is line number 13.
This is from 'TestProject\test_function_magic_constant' function.
This is TestProject\TestMagicConstants class.
This is TestProject\TestMagicConstants::printMethodName method.
This is function 'printFunction' inside class.
Namespace name is 'TestProject'.