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Understanding Scopes in Pine Script

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Introduction to Scopes

In Pine Script™, understanding the concept of scopes is crucial for effective script development. Scopes define the visibility and accessibility of variables and functions within different parts of the script. There are two primary types of scopes in Pine Script: global scope and local scope.

Global Scope

  • Definition: Variables declared outside any function or local block are in the global scope.
  • Contents: This includes user-declared variables, built-in functions, user-defined functions, and built-in variables.
  • Accessibility: Elements in the global scope are accessible throughout the entire script.

Local Scope

  • Definition: Each function in Pine Script has its local scope.
  • Contents: Variables and arguments declared within a function belong exclusively to that function’s local scope.
  • Isolation: Variables in a local scope cannot be accessed from outside their respective function. This means you cannot reference a function’s internal variables from the global scope or another function’s local scope.

Interaction Between Scopes

  • Local Embedded in Global: While local scopes are isolated, they are embedded within the global scope. This allows functions to access variables and other functions declared globally.
  • No Cross-Reference: Local scopes of different functions are independent and cannot intersect or reference each other.


  • No Nested Functions: Pine Script does not allow the declaration of a function within another function. All user-defined functions must be declared in the global scope.
  • No Recursion: Functions cannot self-reference, meaning recursive calls are not supported.

Practical Implications

Understanding the distinction between global and local scopes is vital for structuring your Pine Script code effectively. It ensures proper variable management, avoids naming conflicts, and maintains the integrity of your script’s logic.

Conclusion and Key Takeaways

  • Global vs Local Scope: Recognize the difference between global scope (script-wide accessibility) and local scope (function-specific accessibility).
  • Scope Isolation: Remember that variables within a function’s local scope cannot be accessed from outside that function.
  • Accessing Global Elements: Functions can access global variables and other functions, but cannot contain nested functions.

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