Search PHP code for function & method calls, variable assignments, and more

1.11.0 2023-11-10 22:24 UTC


Searching PHP source code made easy

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Search PHP source code for function & method calls, variable assignments, classes and more directly from PHP.


composer require permafrost-dev/php-code-search


To search a file, use the search method. Its only parameter may be either a string containing a valid filename or an instance of \Permafrost\PhpCodeSearch\Support\File.

To search a string instead, use the searchCode method.

The search methods return an instance of Permafrost\PhpCodeSearch\Results\FileSearchResults, which has a results property.

Each result is an instance of Permafrost\PhpCodeSearch\Results\SearchResult with the following properties:

  • node - the specific item that was found
    • node->name(): string
  • location - the location in the file that the item was found
    • location->startLine(): int
    • location->endLine(): int
  • snippet - a snippet of code lines from the file with the result line in the middle
    • snippet->toString(): string
  • file() (method) - provides access to the file that was searched


To search through the code in a string or file, use the Searcher class:

use Permafrost\PhpCodeSearch\Searcher;

$searcher = new Searcher();

To search a file, use the search method, and the searchCode method to search a string of code.

    ->functions(['strtolower', 'strtoupper'])

    ->searchCode('<?php $oneA = "1a";');

When searching using any of the available methods, regular expressions can be used by surrounding the name with slashes /, i.e. /test\d+/.

Variable names

To search for variables by name, use the variables method.

$results = $searcher
    ->variables(['twoA', '/^one.$/'])
    ->searchCode('<?php '.
    '    $oneA = "1a";'.
    '    $oneB = "1b";'.
    '    $twoA = "2a";'.
    '    $twoB = "2b";'.
foreach($results->results as $result) {
    echo "Found '{$result->node->name()}' on line {$result->location->startLine}" . PHP_EOL;


To search for function calls or definitions, use the functions method.

// search for references AND definitions for 'strtolower' and/or 'myfunc'
    ->functions(['strtolower', 'myfunc'])

Method calls

To search for a method call by name, use the methods method.

Method call nodes have an args property that can be looped through to retrieve the arguments for the method call.

$results = $searcher
    ->searchCode('<?php '.
      '    $obj->testOne("hello world 1"); '.
      '    $obj->testTwo("hello world", 2); '.
foreach($results->results as $result) {
    echo "Found '{$result->node->name()}' on line {$result->location->startLine}" . PHP_EOL;

    foreach($result->node->args as $arg) {
        echo "  argument: '{$arg->value}'" . PHP_EOL;

Static calls

To search for static method or property calls, use the static method.

Valid search terms are either a class name like Cache, or a class name and a method name like Cache::remember.

    ->static(['Ray', 'Cache::has', 'Request::$myProperty'])


To search for either a class definition or a class created by the new keyword, use the classes method.


Variable assignments

To search for a variable assignment by variable name, use the assignments method. Note: The $ should be omitted.


Results without code snippets

To return search results without associated code snippets, use the withoutSnippets method:





Please see CHANGELOG for more information on what has changed recently.


Please see CONTRIBUTING for details.

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The MIT License (MIT). Please see License File for more information.