TOC format

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.toc files contain information about a particular addon (such as its name, description, saved variables, etc), as well as instructions on how the addon should be loaded by the client (for example, the order in which lua and xml files should be loaded). The file must be present, and have the same name (plus extension) as its parent folder for the addon to be recognized by the client.

Basic rules

The game client searches each subfolder of __client__\Interface\AddOns\ (only one level deep) for .toc files having the same name as the subfolder. This .toc file has instructions of the following format:

  • Metadata printed as ## TagName : tagValue, where whitespace is trimmed (except at the start of a line)
  • Comments printed as # this is a comment ignored by the client
  • A list of files to be loaded as myFile.xml or subfolder/anotherFile.lua
## Interface: 80300
## Title: Waiting for Godot
## Notes: Nothing to be done.
## Version: 4.2
Vladimir.xml
Estragon.lua
libs/SomeEmbeddedLibrary.lua

# This is a comment

File load order

The .toc file provides an ordered list of files to be loaded by the client. In the earlier example:

  • Vladimir.xml loads first, and is in the same folder as the .toc file
  • Estragon.lua loads second, and is in the same folder as the .toc file
  • SomeEmbeddedLibrary.lua loads third, and is in a subfolder called libs

Not every file must appear in a .toc list:

Interface version

## Interface: 80300

The interface metadata specifies which version of the game client the addon has been made for. This field prevents users from experiencing errors by loading out-of-date addons or mixing Retail and Classic; unless they explicity ignore warnings and choose "Load out of date addons". Omitting this field causes the game to treat the addon as always out of date.

There are a number of ways to get the current interface version:

It probably is 80300 (retail) or 11305 (classic)
But these numbers are maintained locally, so they might be out of date.
Use GetBuildInfo 
In particular, /dump select(4, GetBuildInfo()) should output the correct version to your chat frame.
Extract FrameXML and check FrameXML.toc
Launch wow with the -console flag, then at the login screen, activate the console using the `/~ key, and type ExportInterfaceFiles code to extract FrameXML files into World of Warcraft\BlizzardInterfaceCode.
Steal it from another AddOn 
Recently updated AddOns, which are not listed as "out of date" by the client contain the latest Interface version in their toc tag.
View FrameXML.toc online
For instance at wowcompares.

Display in the addon list

The following metadata change how an addon appears in the addon list. Localization is possible by appending a hyphen and the locale -enGB, and coloring is possible via UI escape sequences |c########.

Title 
String - The name to display on the AddOns list (default: name of the addon's folder).
## Title: Waiting for Godot
## Title-frFR: En attendant Godot
Notes 
String - The description displayed when the user hovers over the addon entry in the AddOns list.
## Notes: This word is |cFFFF0000red!

Loading conditions

The following metadata changes when and how an addon loads:

RequiredDeps, Dependencies, or any word beginning with "Dep" 
String - A comma-separated list of addon (directory) names that must be loaded before this addon can be loaded.
 ## Dependencies: someAddOn, someOtherAddOn
OptionalDeps 
String - A comma-separated list of addon (directory) names that should be loaded before this addon if they can be loaded.
## OptionalDeps: someAddOn, someOtherAddOn
LoadOnDemand 
Number - If this 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
LoadWith 
String - A comma-separated list of addon (directory) names that, when loaded, will cause the client to load this LoadOnDemand addon as well.
## LoadWith: someAddOn, someOtherAddOn
LoadManagers 
String - 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. An example of a LoadManager is AddonLoader.
SavedVariables 
String - 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
SavedVariablesPerCharacter 
String - 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
DefaultState 
String - 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

Informational

The following metadata do not change how an addon behaves, but may be accessed using GetAddOnMetadata:

Author 
String - The AddOn author's name, displayed
Version
String - The AddOn version. Some automatic updating tools may prefer that this string begins with a numeric version number.
X-_____
String - Any custom metadata prefixed by "X-", such as "X-Date", "X-Website" or "X-Feedback"

Restricted

Secure 
Number - If the value of this tag is 1 and the addon is digitally signed by Blizzard, its code is considered secure.

Notes

  • WoW reads up to the first 1024 characters of each line only. Additional characters are ignored and do not cause an error.
  • The list of files may be edited while the game is open (taking effect after /reload), but changing metadata has no effect and any files must have already been inside the AddOns folder

Patch changes

Cataclysm Patch 4.0.1 (2010-10-12): Changes to how files load when modifying a .toc and typing /reload
The Burning Crusade Patch 2.1.0 (2007-05-22): Added LoadManagers metadata
WoW Icon update.png Patch 1.11.0 (2006-06-20): Added Secure metadata
WoW Icon update.png Patch 1.9.0 (2006-01-03): Added LoadWidth metadata

See also