WoW:Extracting WoW user interface files

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WoW AddOn

Blizzard's user interface code and artwork file can be exported to a directory using tools already in the game, and viewed directly. This these files often useful for AddOn developers, or those who are just curious and want to learn more about WoW internals. See also Viewing Blizzard's WoW user interface code for other methods.

Extracting Files[edit]

Game UI code and art files can be extracted using the WoW in-game console commands, which will export files to a directory on your computer. These files are the current Blizzard Interface AddOn Kit files.

  • 1. Ensure 'console' is enabled for the WoW edition, like classic, retail, or ptr:
  • 2. Start the appropriate WoW edition
  • 3. In the in-game developer console, type one of:
exportInterfaceFiles code
exportInterfaceFiles art
  • 4. The game UI will freeze until all the files are extracted. For the art extraction, this can take a long time.
  • 5. The new files will appear in the edition's WoW install folders, in:

See #Exporting the Code and Art files below for detailed instructions.


The Blizzard export facility provides extra files and resources relevant to WoW AddOn development. These files are taken exported directly from the retail WoW MPQ files found in the WoW install and are availible for extract so that WoW AddOn developers and others can look at and reference FrameXML files, Lua files, and other art and resources found in the game itself.

Most files used by the WoW game and the Blizzard WoW UI components are found inside game MPQ files, which are sort of like .zip files and not nmormally very easily accessible for reference. Blizzard provides this mechanism and files as a convenience for AddOn developers and the community in general.

Just as there is no official Blizzard support for WoW AddOn development, and the previous Interface AddOn Kit, there is generally no official support for the the export mechanism and the exported file either. However Blizzard has maintained this feature and intends it as a replacement for Interface AddOn Kit which was maintained itself until after the beginning of Patch 4.0.

Exporting the Code and Art files[edit]

From the WoW forums[edit]

Semi-official instructions are provided by MVP post on WoW Community Forums as follows:

Alestane [1]:
  1. Launch WoW with the -console switch; on Windows, you can do this from the properties of the shortcut if you're so inclined, or directly from the command line; on Mac, you can open a terminal and use "open /Applications/World\ of\ Warcraft/World\ of\ Warcraft\ --args -console" (on most systems).
  2. Once you're at the login screen, hit the `/~ key to open a text console a the top of the window.
  3. Type "exportInterfaceFiles code" (or "exportInterfaceFiles art") and hit Enter. The game will likely lag for a moment.
  4. Find the current version of the stock UI files in BlizzardInterfaceCode in your WoW directory.
  5. ???
  6. Profit!
Bluspacecow [2]:

You can also do it on a Mac by :

putting a commandline.txt in your main wow folder with -console inside it


Alternatively, in the client you can add the '-console' switch to enable the console.

  1. Find the regular WoW launcher page
  2. Open the 'Options' drop down list and select 'Game Settings'
  3. Scroll down to 'World of Warcraft' and check 'Additional command line arguments'
  4. Add '-console' to the arguments text box
  1. Click 'Done'


  • These commands appear to work on the login screen and character screen, but not during game play, at least on Windows as of 7.3.2.
  • Art export can take a considerable amount of time, and at least (as of 8.2) 2.8GB of disk space.
  • You will need to change operating system keyboard settings to US, so that console can be opened. Alternatively, you can temporarily change the console key by logging in to a character, then '/run SetConsoleKey "-"'. (In this example, the dash key was used, but many other keys are available for the mapping). Log out, then use the console.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]