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LookML Project Files

A Looker project is a collection of LookML files that tell Looker how to connect to your database, how to query your data, and how to control the user interface’s behavior.

Accessing Project Files

To view LookML files for a project, click the Develop menu and choose the name of the project:

The projects you see in Develop menu depend on the following:

Project File Types

A LookML project can have the following types of files. All project files have extensions, although the extensions are hidden in the IDE list if your project isn’t enabled for folders in the IDE.

Click the links to get more information about the file types:

You can automatically generate a model file and view files based on your database when you create a new project. For existing projects, you can create new files manually, as described in the Creating Files section below on this page.

Navigating to Files

When you open a LookML project, the Looker IDE opens the project to one of the LookML files in that project:

To open a different project file, click on the filename in the side panel of the Looker IDE.

LookML developers can use IDE folders to customize the file organization to match your project. Here is an example project file browser with folders named after LookML file types:

You can show or hide the IDE file browser using the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+B (Windows) or Command-B (Mac), or by clicking the file browser icon:

You can also use the object browser to view all the objects in your project or to navigate to the LookML for a specific object. To use the object browser, select the object browser icon below the folder icon in the Looker IDE:

For more information on the object browser, see the Navigating Projects with the Object Browser documentation page.

Creating Files

To create a LookML file in a project using the IDE:

  1. Navigate to your project files.
  2. Choose where you want to create the file:

    • To create the file inside a folder, click the folder’s menu.
    • To create the file at the project’s root level, click the + at the top of the file browser in the Looker IDE.

    Project manifest files can be created only from the + icon at the top of the file browser in the Looker IDE, and only if the project doesn’t have a manifest file already. This is because a project can have only one manifest file, and the manifest file must be located at the root level of the project’s directory structure.

  3. Select the type of LookML file you want to create. Use the Generic LookML File Type option for the following types of files:

  4. In the Create File pop-up, enter a name for the new file.
    • To create an Explore file, be sure to include the .explore extension at the end of the file name. Looker will add the .lkml at the end if it’s missing. For example, you can enter either flights.explore or flights.explore.lkml, and the file will be named flights.explore.lkml.
    • For all other generic LookML files, you don’t need to include the file extension, since .lkml will be added automatically to the end of the filename. For example, if you enter flights_data_tests, the file will be named flights_data_tests.lkml.
  5. Click Create. The new file will be displayed where you created it. If needed, you can easily move it to another folder.

Once you create the file, be sure to use the include parameter if you want to reference elements from the file in other LookML files of your project. See the include parameter documentation page for more information.

Uploading Files

You may also want to upload files to your project from your computer, such as JSON data files, or LookML files that you’ve created locally. For these cases, you can use the drag-and-drop function to add files to your project:

  1. Navigate to your project files.
  2. Drag the file from your computer into the Looker IDE. The file will be displayed at the root of your directory structure.
  3. You can move the to another folder.

Once you upload the file, be sure to use the include parameter if you want to reference the file or elements in the from the file in other LookML files of your project. See the include parameter documentation page for more information.

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