This article describes the WoW TOC file format. The name of the file must match the name of the addon folder.
TOC file format
There are three main line types: lines beginning with "## " designate a '.toc' tag, which contains information that may be used by the client. For instance, "## Title : Waiting for Bob" communicates to the client that the addon should be called "Waiting for Bob" in the addons list, rather than simply "Bob" as its folder name would imply. The lines without this prefix specify the files that should be loaded by the client when this addon is run: in this case, the Bob.xml file in the addon's folder should be loaded before Bob.lua in the same folder.
## Interface: 80205 ## Title: Waiting for Bob ## Notes: Nothing to be done. ## Version: 1.0 Bob.xml Bob.lua # comment
Addon called "Waiting for Bob".
- lines beginning with '#': designate a comment and are ignored
- lines beginning with '## ': designate a .toc tag and provide metadata about the AddOn
- lines that are file names: provide the names of files to load during load time
Tags are metadata for an AddOn. Like 'Author' and 'Version'.
Lines beginning with "## " designate a .toc tag, and tags can be added to a .toc file in any order in the following format:
## TagName : tagValue
Both the TagName and tagValue are trimmed: excess whitespace does not prevent the tags from being recognized.
Typically after the tags come the files:
Prefixing a line with a # will mark it as a comment, meaning that it will not be read. For example:
# This is a comment
Naming the TOC file
There are special rules for naming a .toc file.
The default name for a '.toc' file is the name of the addon folder with an extension of '.toc'.
AddOns MyAddOn MyAddOn.toc code.lua frame.xml
In this example the AddOn is named 'MyAddOn'. WoW will look for a file named MyAddOn.toc as the addons toc file, because the folder name was MyAddon. They must match.
Names for WoW editions
Each WoW edition can load its own .toc file for an addon. Each addon can have more than one .toc that could be loaded by WoW. WoW will first look for a special .toc for that edition, and if not found will load the default .toc that has the same name as the addon folder, as explained above.
AddOns MyAddOn MyAddOn.toc MyAddOn_Wrath.toc MyAddOn_Vanilla.toc code.lua frame.xml
In this example the AddOn has alternate .toc files for both Classic and WotLK, as well as the default .toc file. When the WotLK edition loads, it will look first for 'MyAddOn_Wrath.toc' then for 'MyAddOn.toc', if 'MyAddOn_Wrath.toc' is not found.
So if 'MyAddOn_Wrath.toc' is found, it will only load that .toc and ignore any others. If it's not found, it will load the default 'MyAddOn.toc', ignoring any others.
Why multiple .toc files
There are two big reasons:
- Code differences
- If there were big enough differences between two editions of WoW for an addon, that it would be easier to just use two or more different sets of some of the code or XML files, then the addon would need different .toc files to load the different sets of code for each edition.
- The 'Interface' version numbers
- Each edition has its own series of interface version numbers. Because of this and because you only have one '## Interface:' line to specify the number, you will actually need a .toc file for each supported edition. Otherwise, users will have to click the 'load outdated' checkbox to load your addon.
Known and current name postfixes (shown in full name context) are:
- MyAddon.toc - the default .toc file. Any edition will load this file, including retail.
- MyAddOn_Wrath.toc - used for WolLK
- MyAddOn_Vanilla.toc - used for Classic
Other known name postfixes (shown in full name context) are:
- MyAddOn_Mainline.toc - can be used for Retail. Highly suggested just use default instead.
- MyAddOn_TBC.toc - was used for TBC. There is no longer a way to load TBC
- MyAddOn-Wrath.toc - the older deprecated postfix for WotLK
- MyAddOn-WOTLKC.toc - the older deprecated postfix for WotLK
- MyAddOn-TBC.toc - the older deprecated postfix for TBC
- MyAddOn-BCC.toc - the older deprecated postfix for TBC
- MyAddOn-Classic.toc - the older deprecated postfix for Classic
- MyAddOn-Mainline.toc - the older deprecated postfix for Retail
- In order to get the client to recognize your addon, you have to create the 'World of Warcraft\Interface\AddOns\Bob' folder, and a 'Bob.toc' file within it using the same name.
- TOC files in an addon folder that do not match the AddOn folder name, will be ignored.
- WoW reads up to the first 1024 characters of each line only. Additional characters are ignored and do not cause an error.
- The .toc files for all addons are only read when the client initially starts up. Any changes made to the .toc file will be ignored by a running client until the entire client is restarted. Restarting the UI or logging in or out will not get WoW to use a new version of the file. In other words, on reload of the UI, the original version of the addons .toc file will be executed that was read when wow was started.
- Lines in the toc can be relative paths.
- Lines can refer to Lua files and XML files.
- 'File' lines will only be trimmed on the right. A line that reads ' bob.lua ' will get processed as '\Interface\AddOns\Bob\ bob.lua', where there is still a presumably inadvertent space between '\' and 'bob.lua', and no longer a space after '.lua'.
- Lines in a TOC file that are relative paths are processed such that 'relative AddOn path' + '\' + 'file line' = 'file path'. So 'fred\bob.lua' will request exactly 'Interface\AddOns\Bob\fred\bob.lua'
There are a number of "official" (either used by the client or explicitly allowed access to via GetAddOnMetadata) .toc tags. Below is a list of official tag names and descriptions of how their values are used:
- Specifies which client interface version the addon was made for. If the value of this tag does not match the client interface version, the addon is loaded only if the "Load out of date addons" option is enabled. There are a number of ways to determine the current interface version.
## Interface: 80205
- The value of this tag is displayed in the AddOns list. Localized versions can be included by appending a hyphen followed by the client locale name; the client automatically chooses a localized version if one is available. The value may also contain UI escape sequences, such as for example colors.
## Title: Waiting for Godot ## Title-frFR: En attendant Godot
- Addon description that appears when the user hovers over the addon entry in the addons list. Like Title, this tag can be localized by appending a hyphen followed by locale name, and contain UI escape sequences.
## Notes: "Nothing to be done"
- RequiredDeps, Dependencies, or any word beginning with "Dep"
- A comma-separated list of addon (directory) names that must be loaded before this addon can be loaded.
## Dependencies: someAddOn, someOtherAddOn
- A comma-separated list of addon (directory) names that should be loaded before this addon if they can be loaded.
## OptionalDeps: someAddOn, someOtherAddOn
- If the value of this tag is "1", the addon is not loaded when the user first logs in, but can be loaded by another addon at a later point. This can be used to avoid loading situational addons.
## LoadOnDemand: 1
- A comma-separated list of addon (directory) names that, when loaded, will cause the client to load this LoadOnDemand addon as well. Added in Patch 1.9
## LoadWith: someAddOn, someOtherAddOn
- A comma-separated list of addon (directory) names; if no addons on this list are loaded, the client will load your addon when the user logs in; if at least one addon on this list is loaded, your addon is treated as LoadOnDemand. Introduced in patch 2.1; an example of a LoadManager is AddonLoader.
- A comma-separated list of variable names in the global environment that will be saved to disk when the client exits, and placed back into the global environment when your addon is loaded; the variables are not available before the ADDON_LOADED event fires for your addon. See Saving variables between game sessions.
## SavedVariables: foo, bar
- A comma-separated list of variable names in the global environment that will be saved to disk when the client exits, and placed back into the global environment when your addon is loaded for a particular character. Note that PerCharacter saved variables are only loaded for the character for which they were saved.
## SavedVariablesPerCharacter: somePercharVariable
- Determines whether the addon is enabled by default when first installed. If the value of this tag is "disabled", the user must explicitly enable the addon in the addons list before it is loaded.
## DefaultState: enabled
- If the value of this tag is 1, and the addon is digitally signed by Blizzard, its code is considered secure (as opposed to tainted, which is what all 3rd-party addons are). Introduced in Patch 1.11.
- The AddOn author's name
- The AddOn version. Some automatic updating tools may prefer that this string begins with a numeric version number.
It is possible for addons to query values of any tags with a "X-" prefix. Some possibilities include:
- GetAddOnInfo returns basic information about an addon.
- GetAddOnMetadata returns information listed in a specified .toc tag.
- GetBuildInfo returns the client's interface version.
- GetLocale returns the client's locale.