Using the Global Statement

A Byte of Python 

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If you want to assign a value to a name defined outside the function, then you have to tell Python that the name is not local, but it is global. We do this using the global statement. It is impossible to assign a value to a variable defined outside a function without the global statement.

You can use the values of such variables defined outside the function (assuming there is no variable with the same name within the function). However, this is not encouraged and should be avoided since it becomes unclear to the reader of the program as to where that variable's definition is. Using the global statement makes it amply clear that the variable is defined in an outer block.

Example 7.4. Using the global statement

# Filename:

def func():
	global x

	print 'x is', x
	x = 2
	print 'Changed global x to', x

x = 50
print 'Value of x is', x


$ python
x is 50
Changed global x to 2
Value of x is 2

How It Works

The global statement is used to decare that x is a global variable - hence, when we assign a value to x inside the function, that change is reflected when we use the value of x in the main block.

You can specify more than one global variable using the same global statement. For example, global x, y, z.