Welcome to AddOn Studio
AddOn Studio is a modern and fully featured integrated development environment for specialized environments. AddOn Studio for World of Warcraft is an IDE for creating and editing WoW AddOns.
Here you can find official AddOn Studio downloads, API documentation and instructions, important links, and other general information. This site is also a wiki. Click the edit button at the top of any page to get started.
AddOn Studio is a professional-level development tool aimed at bringing the Visual Studio experience to other more specialized development environments, like building World of Warcraft addons.
- Where can I get it?
Current versions of AddOn Studio are available here on this wiki. See AddOn Studio for World of Warcraft for all the editions of AddOn Studio for WoW. Or go directly to:
- AddOn Studio 2022 for World of Warcraft
- AddOn Studio 2015 for World of Warcraft
- AddOn Studio 2010 for World of Warcraft
- See also AddOn Studio for WildStar
- Is AddOn Studio up to date?
Yes. AddOn Studio for WoW works for all current versions of WoW including the new Shadowlands release.
- Does AddOn Studio for WoW support WoW Classic?
Yes. All AddOn Studio for WoW editions work for both Retail and Classic.
- I'm having trouble installing or using AddOn Studio, what can I do?
Visit AddOn Studio for World of Warcraft, and pick the edition you installed.
Then check out the various sections for help getting started. Also try the AddOn Studio for World of Warcraft Documentation, with in-depth installation and basic usage tips. These pages have links to outside help, including Discord, support sites, Twitter, and more.
- See #Frequently Asked Questions below for more questions and answers.
- Visual Design
AddOn Studio includes a set of toolbox controls that you can drag-and-drop onto the designer to visually design the layout of your addon including popular Visual Studio features like Snap lines which enable you to visually align controls.
- Advanced Lua Code Editor
AddOn Studio includes a powerful Lua code editing environment including syntax highlighting, colorization, collapsible functions, built-in IntelliSense support for Warcraft functions and events, IntelliSense Code Snippets for common Lua language constructs, code navigation features like bookmarks and Go To Declaration, and all IDE settings are customizable.
- Wow IntelliSense
The IntelliSense engine works with the WoW Programming API Reference documentation. It includes detailed WoW parameters and return types, with real-time parameter and function level documentation.
- FrameXML IntelliSense
AddOn Studio provides built-in support for FrameXML schema validation for addon developers who want to manually edit and customize FrameXML markup.
- Cross-File and Project IntelliSense
AddOn Studio can intelligently see Lua names and values across files for the code you write. It can do this with an awareness for the rules of WoW, and Toc files and Xml includes, and present the correct code-completion in real-time, on even unsaved files, and based on correct load order of files as WoW and the Lua runtime would in the game.
- Project Based Development
AddOn Studio includes project based file management, where each AddOn can be a discrete project in the IDE. The allows independent configuration, ease with SCC integration, and easy way deploy or clear projects from your WoW install, or different WoW installs, at will without losing the actual code you are working on.
- Source Code Control Support
Visually use Git or SVN with your addons and with your favorite repository, including with integration with AddOn author sites like Source Forge.
- FrameXML Tree View
Visualize the hierarchy of nested controls in your FrameXML file including virtual controls
- Visually Browse Warcraft Resources
You can browse and add Warcraft resources directly into your addons including class ability icons, common frames (Bank, Calendar, Chat, Guild, etc...), and Common Buttons (close, scrolling, main menu, etc...)
- Visually Design Frame Backdrops
AddOn Studio includes a Backdrop editor tool to easily design and visualize an XML Frame.
- XML Editing for Advanced Developers
For advanced developers that want to hand-code FrameXML files, AddOn Studio includes the option to turn off the Visual Designer and just use the XML editing tools. You can switch between the Designer and the XML editor at will, and even use both at the same time and see you changes update immediate in the other. This can also be used as a great way to learn WoW UI XML or maybe even to learn XML itself.
- Auto-Generate Table of Contents (TOC)
AddOn Studio also takes the hassle out of building the Table of Contents (TOC) file by automatically building it based on what files are in your project.
- Visually add Table of Contents (TOC) Metadata
AddOn Studio also makes it easy to add metadata to your Tables of Contents (TOC) file including Title, Author, version, and a number of other common metadata attributes as well as custom attributes.
- Auto-Generate Lua Events
The Addon Studio property window shows all of the properties and events available for a Lua control or frame and enables one-click creation of event handlers like a button_OnClick event.
- And more...
AddOn Studio includes features, like automatic deployment to your Warcraft directory, Task Window, Error List for FrameXML and Lua parsing errors, TGA and MP3 file format support, built-in Lua console for testing code, WoWBench support, and powerful search-and-replace features.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Does AddOn Studio require Visual Studio?
For AddOn Studio 2010 for WoW, no; it works independently of Visual Studio. If you already have Visual Studio 2010 installed, that's fine also. For AddOn Studio 2015 for WoW, any edition of Visual Studio 2015 may be installed, including the free one. For AddOn Studio 2022 for WoW, it's the same as the 2015 edition and any edition of Visual Studio 2022 may be installed.
- How was AddOn Studio created?
AddOn Studio is built using the free Visual Studio Shell, and the Extensibility features in Visual Studio. For more information on VS extensibility, please visit https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/visualstudio/extensibility or https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Visual_Studio_Extensibility.
- What are some recommended resources for learning how to build Warcraft AddOns?
- WoW UI Beginner's Guide
- Getting started with writing AddOns
- WoW HOWTOs Articles
- Lua.org: Lua Language Reference
- Lua reference
- Book: World of Warcraft Programming: A Guide and Reference for Creating WoW Addons - A complete reference for building AddOns
- Book: Coding4Fun: 10 .NET Programming Projects for Wiimote, YouTube, World of Warcraft, and More - Chapter 3 is a .NET developer's guide to building AddOns and shows how an in-game RSS Reader is built
- wowprogramming.com: Wow Programming Tools & Utilities