Inspecting Watched Items
PhpStorm helps inspect any variables or watches item in its own window. For example, if you need to examine several references in detail, you can open an inspection window for each of them. So doing, a separate window is created for each variable or watch reference and all of its child references.
The inspection windows are non-modal, and you can launch as many as of them required. All changes of the references are immediately reflected in the corresponding inspection windows.
To hide or open the Watches pane
By default, the Watches pane is hidden and the watches are shown in the Variables pane.
To have the Watches pane displayed separately and view the configured watches in it, release the toggle button on the toolbar of the Variables pane. By default, the button is pressed.
To hide the Watches pane and view the watches in the Variables pane, press the toggle button on the toolbar of the Watches pane.
To inspect references
Select the item to be inspected on the Variables or Watches pane.
On the context menu, choose Inspect.