CLIArgsMadeEasy is back with a long overdue update. This is the third major release of this extension although the second one didn’t receive a major version number.

This is still an alpha version. Please report back any bugs you may find.

New features

  • Dropped toolbar support in favour of toolbox which makes it more easy to manage and edit your command line. Open it inside View -> Other Windows -> CliArgsMadeEasy
  • Remove or change between command line arguments with a click of a button.
  • No more clogging the windows registry, data gets saved in .suo file.
  • Detect startup project inside solution folders.
  • Compatible with VS2012, VS2013 and VS2015RC.


  • v1.0.7:
    • Added support for Visual Studio 2015.
  • v1.0.6:
    • Added support for Visual Studio theme layouts.
    • Fixed bug where pressing the delete key while editing an item would delete the item and not the next character.
  • v1.0.5:
    • Added ability to duplicate and edit (buttons were added for each CLI arguments.)
    • Changed the way CLI args get added and changed.
  • v1.0.4:
    • Fixed VSIX problem for VS2012 installation.
    • Fixed bug where deleting command line arguments wouldn’t set them in Visual Studio.
    • Fixed bug where we could add the “Type some arguments”.
    • Changed default shortcuts:
      • ctrl+alt+0 – open CLIArgsMadeEasy window.
      • ctrl+alt+9 – focus on command line arguments.
      • ctrl+alt+8 – focus on project filter.
      • ctrl+alt+7 – focus on command line history.
  • v1.0.3:
    • Fixed VSIX installation for VS2013. Common installer for both VS2012 and VS2013.
    • Fixed bug where changing CLI Args through project properties didn’t update the extension.
    • Added empty CLI args when pressing enter with no arguments in the box.
  • v1.0.2:
    • Added key shortcuts:
      • ctrl+alt+0 – focus on command line arguments.
      • ctrl+alt+9 – focus on project filter.
      • ctrl+alt+8 – focus on command line history.
      • tab – focus next command line.
      • enter or space – select current command line.
      • delete – removes current command line.
      • escape – set focus on command line arguments.
    • Fixed bug detecting when startup project was deleted.
  • v1.0.1:
    • Removed erroneous menu entry from Visual Studio under Tools – You can find the tool window in: View -> Other Windows -> CliArgsMadeEasy
    • Command line arguments text box expands to show full text.
    • Added new icon.


Command Line Arguments Made Easy (CLIArgsMadeEasy) is a Visual Studio extension that eases the access and change of the startup project’s command line arguments. Instead of having to go to project properties or instead of using the command window to run your program with different arguments, CLIArgsMadeEasy adds a toolbox for you to add and edit your custom arguments.

If you like this add-in and want to support it, donate by clicking in the button:


Download CLIArgsMadeEasy2 v1.0.6 alpha here. (for Visual Studio 2012 / 2013)
Download CLIArgsMadeEasy2 v1.0.7 beta here. (for Visual Studio 2012 / 2013 / 2015)

Many thanks to Diogo Teixeira (aka fozi) for the add-in idea and testing of the program. And I also have to thank Matt Phillips for showing interest in the add-in which inspired me to make a second release.
Thanks to everyone who’s been reporting bugs and helping me building a stable version of CLIArgsMadeEasy.

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49 Responses to CLIArgsMadeEasy2

  1. jojoba says:

    I installed CLIArgsMadeEasy2 v1.0 alpha for VS2012 and when I select Tools->CLIArgsMadeEasy, I get the following error :
    Microsoft Visual Studio

    Inside CLIArgsMadeEasy2.CLIArgsMadeEasy2Package.MenuItemCallback()

    It does work when I open a solution, though : I get the CLIArgsMadeEasy window and it seems to work properly.

  2. n0n4m3 says:

    The plugin has been updated to fix the problem in the Tools menu and I’ve also added support to fully expand the command line arguments when you have text that doesn’t fit in a single line.

    Please let me know if you find any other issues.

  3. darknavi says:

    I can’t seem to find a way to add the command line widget to the tool bar. I know that you were able to (somehow) with the older version. Any ideas?

    Side note: Thanks for the awesome addin :)

    • n0n4m3 says:

      I removed that mode because it was causing some problems in the last two versions of Visual Studio. I had some people asking for toolbox support and I think it makes the extension more flexible because you have more control over what you can do with it. If you’re okay with the bugs present in the old version then you can still install it for Visual Studio 2012 which adds the extension in the toolbar. Sorry about that.

  4. Ian says:

    I get the error “The extension is not installable on any currently installed products” when I open the file. The log shows this:

    4/2/2014 8:48:13 PM – Microsoft VSIX Installer
    4/2/2014 8:48:13 PM – ——————————————-
    4/2/2014 8:48:13 PM – Initializing Install…
    4/2/2014 8:48:14 PM – Extension Details…
    4/2/2014 8:48:14 PM – Identifier : ffbb1785-0215-47f6-8991-aea68bc8ae7d
    4/2/2014 8:48:14 PM – Name : CLIArgsMadeEasy2
    4/2/2014 8:48:14 PM – Author : Ricardo Sabino
    4/2/2014 8:48:14 PM – Version : 1.0
    4/2/2014 8:48:14 PM – Description : Information about my package
    4/2/2014 8:48:14 PM – Locale : en-US
    4/2/2014 8:48:14 PM – MoreInfoURL :
    4/2/2014 8:48:14 PM – InstalledByMSI : False
    4/2/2014 8:48:14 PM – SupportedFrameworkVersionRange : [4.5]
    4/2/2014 8:48:14 PM –
    4/2/2014 8:48:14 PM – Supported Products :
    4/2/2014 8:48:14 PM – Microsoft.VisualStudio.Pro
    4/2/2014 8:48:14 PM – Version : [11.0]
    4/2/2014 8:48:14 PM –
    4/2/2014 8:48:14 PM – References :
    4/2/2014 8:48:14 PM – ——————————————————-
    4/2/2014 8:48:14 PM – Identifier : Microsoft.VisualStudio.MPF.11.0
    4/2/2014 8:48:14 PM – Name : Visual Studio MPF 11.0
    4/2/2014 8:48:14 PM – Version : [11.0]
    4/2/2014 8:48:14 PM – MoreInfoURL :
    4/2/2014 8:48:14 PM – Nested : No
    4/2/2014 8:48:14 PM –
    4/2/2014 8:48:14 PM –
    4/2/2014 8:48:14 PM – Searching for applicable products…
    4/2/2014 8:48:14 PM – Found installed product – Microsoft Visual Studio Professional 2013
    4/2/2014 8:48:14 PM – Found installed product – Microsoft Visual Studio 2013 Shell (Integrated)
    4/2/2014 8:48:14 PM – Found installed product – Global Location
    4/2/2014 8:48:14 PM – VSIXInstaller.NoApplicableSKUsException: This extension is not installable on any currently installed products.
    at VSIXInstaller.App.InitializeInstall()
    at System.Threading.Tasks.Task.InnerInvoke()
    at System.Threading.Tasks.Task.Execute()

    • n0n4m3 says:

      From the debug log you posted it seems that it’s trying to install the VSIX for VS 2012 but you only have VS 2013 installed in your machine. Can you confirm that?

  5. Justin says:

    I ran into the “The extension is not installable on any currently installed products” issue as well. I confirmed it was the 2013 vsix.

    I got around it by creating a new folder in “C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio 12.0\Common7\IDE\Extensions” and unzipping the contents of the vsix file into it. Closing and reopening VS a few times and it found it installed.

    Other things I noticed:
    – The vsix file has “CLIArgsMadeEasy2%20-%20.dll” and .pkgdef. I renamed these files replacing the %20 instances with a single space character.
    – The toolbox pops up when the solution opens, that’s good. If you close the window, however, I don’t see a way to reopen it other than exiting Visual Studio. I don’t see any options in the Tools menu regarding this extension.
    – Pressing enter without typing anything can sometimes create an entry making “Type some arguments” as the command line arguments.
    – You can update the command line arguments manually in “Properties -> Debug -> Command line arguments” and the changes aren’t visible in the toolbox.
    – Removing entries from the toolbox doesn’t work as you’d expect:
    — If you have two or more entries and you remove the currently highlighted entry, it will highlight a different entry, but not update the command line arguments to the entry it is now highlighting. Clicking the highlighted entry after this happens doesn’t update it either.
    — I would expect that removing all entries from the toolbox would clear out the command line arguments.

    • n0n4m3 says:

      Thanks for the precious feedback!
      I’ll take a better look at the vsix for VS2013 as well as some of the bugs. I may post a new version by EOD tomorrow.

    • n0n4m3 says:

      I’ve just put a new build online. Please let me know if this version installs well on VS2013.
      I’ve also fixed the bug you reported on the extension not updating when we changed the CLI args in properties -> debug.

      Regarding the toolbox not appearing, this wasn’t actually a bug (I think) as you should have an option under View -> Other Windows -> CliArgsMadeEasy
      You can also set a keyboard shortcut for this in VS Options.

      I’ll try to get a new build soon with more of your bugs fixed.


    • n0n4m3 says:

      A new build 1.0.4 is online that should address most bugs reported so far.

      Let me know if you find any other issues.
      Thank you!

  6. Steve says:

    major hassles in VS2013.

    Unable to edit or update existing commandlines
    cannot set project commandline if only one exists in list (click into “type some arguments” and click back again, can no longer select existing entry

    some ability to “copy” existing arguments into “type some…” to create additional ones would be handy

    • n0n4m3 says:

      Thank you for the feedback.
      The previous version also didn’t support editing exiting command lines but this makes more sense for this version.

      I’ll add and fix the problem you pointed out in the next release.
      Thanks again!

  7. darknavi says:

    Could you add an easy way to remove all arguments? There doesn’t seem to be a way to have no arguments in the current setup.

  8. Arzin says:

    Looking forward to the edit feature! Thanks! =]

    • n0n4m3 says:

      It’s in the works. I had to redesign a bit how CLIArgs worked so it took me a while longer. Should be ready in a couple weeks. Thanks for waiting!

  9. n0n4m3 says:

    New version 1.0.5 is out. Please try it out and let me know about any bugs you may find. Thanks!

  10. noname says:

    I’m using 1.0.5 with VS 2012 and get this error:

    2014/10/17 10:27:29.020
    CreateInstance failed for package [CLIArgsMadeEasy2Package]
    Could not load file or assembly ‘Microsoft.VisualStudio.Shell.11.0, Version=, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=b03f5f7f11d50a3a’ or one of its dependencies. The system cannot find the file specified.

    Add this to devenv.exe.config:
    <assemblyIdentity name="Microsoft.VisualStudio.Shell.11.0" publicKeyToken="b03f5f7f11d50a3a" culture="neutral"/>
    <bindingRedirect oldVersion="" newVersion=""/>

    Please fix it so that it can be used without the workaround.

  11. Mark says:

    I’m so glad I found this. Great little tool, thanks a lot.

    (Minor request: reflect the color theme used (dark for example))

  12. zail says:

    Loving this plug-in :)

    Minor bug to report, Pressing delete while editing inside one of the boxes will remove it. For someone who rarely uses backspace, its annoying :)

  13. n0n4m3 says:

    Thank you for the suggestions / bug reports! I’ll definitely try to include them in the next version.

  14. n0n4m3 says:

    New version 1.0.6 is up! Not sure if it fixed the Visual Studio 2012 installation problem though because I didn’t have a sandbox ready to test that. It would be great if someone could verify that for me. Thanks!

    • prim3 says:

      Installed 1.0.6. Unfortunately the error in the comment above appears with Visual Studio 2012, the workaround is still necessary.

      Thank you for this plugin and your effort!

      • n0n4m3 says:

        Thanks for the update. Unfortunately I don’t have a machine ready with just VS2012 thus I can’t see that problem. I’ll try to install a VM with just VS2012 to try to repro that problem. Thanks again.

  15. Simon says:

    Great fan of this plugg-in!

    Using VS 2013 and version 1.0.6 of this pluggin and all textfields texts are white over a whit background. I must edit the box to see the text. I know 1.0.6 mentions this has been fixed but the fix doesn’t seem to work for me.

    Do you need any more information to debug this?

  16. n0n4m3 says:

    That seems odd… did you personalize any colours manually besides setting the dark theme? I set my VS2013 to Dark theme and the input box is grey with black text so I’m not sure why yours is white.

    • Simon says:

      I do have other extensions (VAssist, VSCommands) that do some magic with colors. I could disable them see if they are responsible for the white on white.

      • Simon says:

        Reviving this issue as I finally took the time to test. It turns out that VSCommands is the culprit. Simply installing the add in will make the CLIArgsMadeEasy2 bars go white.

  17. Vlad says:

    Great plugin. It saves seconds/minutes/hours of clicking on project settings, … The only minor problem that I have is that I can hardly see the blinking cursor when inside the window. The background is grey, the text is white but the cursor is almost invisible.

  18. Arzin says:

    “Using VS 2013 and version 1.0.6 of this pluggin and all textfields texts are white over a whit background. I must edit the box to see the text.”

    I’m getting bug a lot too.

    The bug occurs with Light, Dark and Blue schemes. I tried disabling extensions too with no luck. The repro of the bug is odd, not sure exactly just editing them a bunch by double clicking, and then moving off that row to another row will cause the old row to become completely white (background and text). I can send you a screenshot, if you need it. Please provide an email that works for you, if you want that.

    Also, the bug persists between VS sessions too. So, there’s no easy way I know to fix it. But I have managed to revert the colors somehow in the past.

  19. Arzin says:

    I’m using VS 2012, btw. But it does not look like VS version matters, nor the other enabled extensions, nor the VS color theme.

  20. Arzin says:

    Found a 100% repro (one way at least). It is indeed related to VS color scheme. Sorry for saying it wasn’t.

    If you *create* a row in Light scheme it is fine. You can switch to Dark later. Even edit the row in Dark, it will still be visible on leaving focus.
    Repro: However, if you *create* a row in Dark scheme, you will not see anything after leaving the row. Ie. the bug. Even if you switch to Light later on.

    Workaround: You’ll need to recreate the row in Light and then switch back to Dark, if you want to see it in Dark.

    Also, Light and Blue seem to behave the same. Ie. they’re not effected as much. But Dark has it the worst.

    I recently switched to using Dark scheme always. I guess that’s why the bug is showing up for me much more.

    If you can figure out a way to force the colors of all the various text components and text states of all the rows to be constant in all schemes (ie. depending only on their state, rather than scheme as well), that would be a great! Thanks for looking into it. =]

    • n0n4m3 says:

      Couldn’t repro it here. This is what I tried:
      – Open VS (it’s already in dark theme)
      – Create new solution with a project (I’ve just created a WPF sample from the wizard.)
      – Add a new row (command line arguments)

      Everything looked fine. I’m going to try to change some theme code in the next couple days to see if it fixes the problem.
      In the meantime let me know if you find anything else. Thanks!

  21. Ofer says:

    I installed it on VS’12 ultimate, but it does not work.
    When I open a solution I get
    “The ‘CIA….’ package did not load correctly.

    The problem may have been caused by a configuration change ….
    … examine activitylog.xml”
    In the activity log file I see :

    2015/02/23 07:02:35.033
    Begin package load [CLIArgsMadeEasy2Package]

    2015/02/23 07:02:35.037
    CreateInstance failed for package [CLIArgsMadeEasy2Package]
    Could not load file or assembly ‘Microsoft.VisualStudio.Shell.11.0, Version=, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=b03f5f7f11d50a3a’ or one of its dependencies. The system cannot find the file specified.

    2015/02/23 07:02:35.037
    End package load [CLIArgsMadeEasy2Package]
    80004005 – E_FAIL
    Could not load file or assembly ‘Microsoft.VisualStudio.Shell.11.0, Version=, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=b03f5f7f11d50a3a’ or one of its dependencies. The system cannot find the file specified.

    Any idea ?

  22. AH says:

    Great plugin, thank you so much! Greatly simplified my debugging, as I have a project that must be run with many different command line flags. Alpha seems to work great! (I’m using VS2013)

  23. Dmitriy Iassenev says:

    Let me propose much simpler and better design for this very useful feature:
    There should be 2 comboboxes (the second one is optional):
    1. Drop-down list with the ability to edit (see Find Window as a reference). This combo box is per-project. If I change startup project, it changes its content correspondingly.
    2. Startup projects selector (since the first combo is per-project) – should be used only when there are multiple startup projects. The first combo changes its content when selection in this combo changes.

    This what I and at least several other developers need!

    We do not need separate window for this, we do not need strange background color which hides cursor position when editing, we need a combo, which may be placed into the menu bar (not only in toolbar).

    That would be very useful.

    • n0n4m3 says:

      Are you referring to have this add-in in the visual studio toolbar? This is how it worked a few years ago but I received comments from people saying they preferred it in a separate window and I agreed that makes everything much more flexible and easy to manage specially nowadays where everyone usually has 2 monitors and high resolutions.

  24. A says:

    Are you planning on releasing a version for VS2015 anytime soon? Would be really great to see that happen!

  25. Arzin says:

    1.0.7 didn’t work for me, had to revert to 1.0.6. Got the following error (which I had also gotten with 1.0.6):

    Could not load file or assembly ‘Microsoft.VisualStudio.Shell.11.0, Version=, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=b03f5f7f11d50a3a’ or one of its dependencies. The system cannot find the file specified.

    But the workaround that someone posted for this, which worked for 1.0.6, did not work for 1.0.7.

    I’m using VS2012. Still have the color/theme bug. =] But I’ve gotten used to it.

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