Template Variables

Template variables allow you to dynamically filter one or more widgets in a dashboard.


To create your first template variable in the dashboard, click Add Template Variables. If template variables are already defined, click on the pencil icon to open the template variable editor. Once in edit mode, click on Add Variable + to add a template variable.

A template variable is defined by:

  • Tag or Attribute:
  • Name: A unique name for the template variable that appears in queries on the dashboard. Template variables are automatically named after the selected tag or attribute.
  • Default Value: The tag or attribute value that appears automatically when the dashboard is loaded. Defaults to *.
  • Available Values: The tag or attribute values available for selection in the dropdown. Defaults to (all). The list of available values always includes *, which queries all values of the tag or attribute.

After creating a template variable, Datadog displays the number of sources using the variable. In the example below, the template variable team is used in two graphs on the dashboard:

Template variable with several variables set

Use the template variables in individual widgets or click the Add to All option. To remove a template variable from all widgets, click the Remove From All option.

Logs, APM, and RUM queries

Template variables work with log, APM, and RUM widgets because metrics, logs, APM, and RUM share the same tags. Additionally, you can define log, APM, and RUM template variables based on log, APM, or RUM facets. These variables start with @, for example: @http.status_code.

On log, APM, and RUM widgets, you can use wildcards in the middle of a value (for example, eng*@example.com) or use multiple wildcards in a value (for example, *prod*).

Note: Using Add to all for this type of template variable adds the variable to all log, APM, and RUM widgets.

Saved views


Default Saved View

To the left of the template variables on a dashboard, there is a dropdown listed as (Default Value). When you make a change to a template variable value, the value is not automatically saved to a view. To save the current values of the template variables in a view, click on the dropdown menu and click Save selections as view. From there, you are prompted to enter a unique name for the view. After saving, this view is listed in the dropdown menu. Click on this view to retrieve the previously saved values for the template variables.


To delete a view, click on the saved views dropdown and choose Manage views…. From there, a popup with your saved views is displayed with a trash bin icon next to each view. Click the appropriate trash bin icon to delete a view.

Manage View Popup


To modify the (Default Value) view, click on the pencil icon and update the template variable values. Then click Done to save. If any values in the other views are changed, save the values as a new view, and then delete the original view.


Template variables are used in widgets and event overlays.


When creating or editing a widget, existing template variables display as options in the from field. For example, if you create the template variable env, the option $env is available.

After the widget is saved, the value of the template variable is the one selected from the top of your dashboard:

Selecting template variables

To query based on just a prefix or suffix, use a wildcard character (*) at the beginning or end of the template variable value. For example, find all regions that begin with us using us*, or all emails under the example.com domain with *@example.com.

When you change the value of a template variable, the dashboard URL updates to reflect the template variable value with the format &tpl_var_<TEMPLATE_VARIABLE_NAME>=<TEMPLATE_VARIABLE_VALUE>. For example, a dashboard with the template variable $env changed to prod would have the URL parameter &tpl_var_env=prod.

To include just the value in the query, append it with the syntax $<TEMPLATE_VARIABLE_NAME>.value. For example, with a template variable named service, use env:staging-$service.value.

Associated template variables

When selecting a template variable value, the Associated Values and Other Values sections are displayed. Associated values are calculated from the other template variable values selected on the page, and seamlessly identify the related values without any configuration.

Associated template variables


For text based widgets, you can display a template variable’s tag/attribute and value with $<TEMPLATE_VARIABLE_NAME>, just its key with $<TEMPLATE_VARIABLE_NAME>.key, or just its value with $<TEMPLATE_VARIABLE_NAME>.value. This can come after any non-alphanumeric character, and can be followed by whitespace or any of the following characters: #, $, %, =, ;, ", (, ), [, ], {, }, ^, *, +, |, and ?.

For example, with a template variable named env, with tag/attribute environment, and with a selected value of dev:

  • $env displays environment:dev
  • $env.key displays environment
  • $env.value displays dev

Events overlay

Use the events overlay search with template variables to find events that share certain tags with the metrics in your dashboard. The event overlay search is applied through an individual graph.

Values from dashboard template variables can be directly captured by using the $<TEMPLATE_VARIABLE_KEY>.value syntax in the event search field.

Note: Dashboard template variables must be metric tags, not event tags.


From your dashboard, search events with template variables using the format:


For example, searching for region:$region.value with a value of us-east1 for the region template variable displays events tagged with region:us-east1. Additionally, the timing of the events are marked by pink bars in the graphs.

Use commas to search using multiple template variables, for example: role:$role.value,env:$env.value

Note: Once you press enter to search, $region.value updates to the value in the template variable drop-down.


From your widgets, overlay the timing of the events using template variables with the format:


For example, enter $region in the event overlays search box. This searches for events with the value in the region template variable drop-down.

Further Reading