CLI Args Made Easy 2010 / 2012

Find the new CLIArgsMadeEasy version here.



Improved version of the CLI Args Made Easy for Visual Studio 2005 and 2008.
Visual Studio Add-in that puts the project’s command line arguments more accessible.


Command Line Arguments Made Easy (CLIArgsMadeEasy) is a Visual Studio Add-in 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 field in the toolbar for you to edit and saves everything you enter. A button is also added that opens a console window in the project’s working directory or home directory (if there’s no working directory set for this project).


  • More stable and faster than it’s predecessor CLIArgsMadeEasy.
  • Rapidly change startup project’s command line arguments in toolbar.
  • Saves command arguments history per user per machine.
  • Open console window in working directory or project’s directory (if there’s no working directory set).
  • Easily set a new startup project in the toolbar.

Screen shot:



  • v1.3 – fixed bug that prevented resizing the CLIArgs input box.
  • v1.2 – added new combo box to easily choose a new startup project.
  • v1.1 – fixed bug parsing solutions with projects inside project folders.

Note: to resize the add-in input boxes you can click on the toolbar options button on the right and choose: “Add or Remove Buttons”->“Customize”. Then select the input box you want to change and choose “Modify Selection” and set the width as you like.

Known limitations:

  • Doesn’t work with XBox 360 projects.

I’d really appreciate if someone could give me a hand to solve this problem since I don’t have access to the XBox 360 SDK.

If you notice any slow downs or other problems because of CLIArgsMadeEasy 2010, let me know.

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


You can download CLIArgsMadeEasy2010 v1.3 here. (for Visual Studio 2010)

ATTENTION: There is a known bug in CLIArgsMadeEasy2012. If you want the add-in to work properly, please make sure that it is visible in the Visual Studio’s toolbar BEFORE you open a solution, otherwise the add-in won’t behave like it should. This bug doesn’t impact your IDE experience. I’m currently working on a fix but it will take me some time to get it 100%. In the meanwhile you can use the version below.
You can download CLIArgsMadeEasy2012 v1.0 RC2 here. (for Visual Studio 2012)

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 this second release.
Thanks to everyone who’s been reporting bugs and helping me building a stable version of CLIArgsMadeEasy.

Tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

51 Responses to CLI Args Made Easy 2010 / 2012

  1. Joakim Karlsson says:

    Great add-in. Just what I needed. So tired of going into the properties window to debug different features.

  2. Kzi says:

    It seems to be broken with VS2010 SP1: no matter what I put in the textbox, I get “The parameter is incorrect. (Exception from HRESULT: 0x80070057 (E_INVALIDARG))”

  3. Momo says:

    thank you for your plugin but until this plugin does not work on Visual Studio 2010 SP1. Have you an update please.
    Best Regards

    • n0n4m3 says:

      The plugin does work in VS 2010 SP1 (in most cases at least). I tested in several projects of mine and didn’t catch the problem but it appears that some people are having an issue that I can’t find.
      Could anyone please send me their solution that is causing problems? I don’t need the source code of your project, just the solution with empty files for example should be enough to replicate the problem here.


  4. Momo says:


    It is OK. It works fine but you should say precisely that the user must validate arguments
    with the key “Enter” !!! ^^

    Thank you for your plugin ^^

  5. n0n4m3 says:

    I think I found out what the problem was. It didn’t have to do with the new VS2010 SP1, it had to do with complex structure of project folders.
    I uploaded a new version and hope it’s fixed now, give it a try.


  6. Skp says:

    How to import .vsixmanifest file to VS2010, when I double click it, it just opens up in VS 2010. Please let me know how can I install/import this extension in VS2010.

    • n0n4m3 says:

      Double clicking the file should be enough to install the extension. Check in the Tools->Extension Manager to see if the extension is listed. If it is, it means it is installed and you can click your toolbar with the right mouse button and choose CLIArgsMadeEasy to view the application’s toolbar. One other way is to go to View->Toolbars->CLIArgsMadeEasy

      Hope this helps. Let me know if you have any other problems.


      • Skp says:

        Unfortunately, Its not working at my end. When double click, setup doesn’t run,neither it shows in Extension Manager. What I am missing?

        Thanks in Advance.

        • n0n4m3 says:

          I reread your first post and you’re trying to install/import the .vsixmanifest which means one of your programs unpacked the file you downloaded from this webpage which has the .vsix extension. The .vsix is the file that should be installed/imported into VS not the .vsixmanifest.
          In my machine the default program that opens .vsix files is the Microsoft Visual Studio Version Selector program.

          • Skp says:

            You are correct, I was also expecting .vsix file when I downloaded from this website(_ but when I open zipped folder I am getting .vsixmanifest file and not .vsix file.


    • Sky says:

      I also met with this problem, double click just open not install the extension. I don’t know how to config these four files.

  7. Berthold Hamburger says:

    Despite downloading the file from this website I continuously get a message that update (1.2) is available and the installed version is displayed as 1.0. Where can I download the latest version?

    • n0n4m3 says:

      Hi Berthold,

      In fact that is the latest version, meaning that it has the latest code. There was a bug in the version reported by the extension. I fixed it and you can download it from the same link.
      Thanks for reporting this!

  8. Matthew Cox says:

    Is there any way to expand the input box? Some of my arg strings are quite long.

    Alternatively, would it be possible to use a resizeable dockable textbox with text-wrapping? This would be ideal, I feel.

    • n0n4m3 says:

      Hi Matthew,

      It should be possible to resize it in the button on the right of the toolbar “Add or Remove buttons”->”Customize” and then on “Modify Selection” but for some reason it is failing to change the size of that input box. I’ll look into it ASAP.
      You’re not the only one requesting that dockable text box. I’ll see if I can add it.
      Thank you!

    • n0n4m3 says:

      A new version 1.3 is up. The combo was set to stretch automatically which didn’t let us set the width we wanted.

      • Matthew Cox says:

        Thanks, I’ll check it out.

        • Matthew Cox says:

          Is the vs11 beta version updated? That’s the one I’ve been using.

          • n0n4m3 says:

            Sorry, I thought you were using the 2010 and I wanted to update the version for VS 2012 RC so it took me a bit longer. I’ve updated the add-in and changed the name. You should uninstall CLIArgsMadeEasy11 and install CLIArgsMadeEasy2012.


  9. Abc says:

    Can you release the source for this plugin?

    • n0n4m3 says:


      I have a tutorial here: that has a big portion of the code that this add-in uses.
      Can you tell me the reason why you want the code? Are you making an extension and need help with something? Let me know and I’ll try to help you.


      • Abc says:

        I really appreciate all your efforts. I would just like to compile the code myself. I try to limit what third party DLLs I put in my VS

        • n0n4m3 says:

          Well, it doesn’t make any difference if you compile the code yourself or if you install the add-in. I mean, if you have no interest in the source code there’s absolutely no difference because after you compile the code you still have to install the add-in the same way everyone installs.

          Probably the main reason I didn’t put the code out there was just to prevent forking of the project. If I wasn’t interested in developing it anymore I would have released the source a long time ago but I’m always trying to listen to feedback and implementing new features.

          As of this moment I’m working on a new feature that was requested a few times that is to have a separate window for the Command Line Arguments instead of using only the toolbar.

          • Abc says:

            Alright. For security reasons I try to compile third party stuff myself if I can. You might want to consider releasing your source anyway, so people can fork it and maybe improve it. Or maybe not, if that’s not what you want. Thanks for your work on this, it’s always griped me in Visual Studio that there’s no command line on the toolbar.

          • n0n4m3 says:

            Compiling and using a piece of software without looking at the code is almost as secure as using the software package itself without compiling it. I mean, if you’re not interested in looking at the code it wouldn’t protect you if the add-in made some malicious stuff to your computer. But I assure you this is not the case.
            Either way, being an extension programmed in .net I guess it’s possible to see the code if you really want by using reflector tools.
            As for the forking I’d like everyone to post their comments here so that they help CLI Args become even more useful.

  10. Aphadon says:

    Firstly thanks a lot for this plugin, I’ve been using it at work for quite a while and it’s exactly what I needed.

    Unfortunately though, we are about to switch development to VS2012 RTM and the 2012 version of the plugin does not seem to work correctly. When typing into the CLIArgs box and pressing enter the Command Arguments don’t update, the Startup Project dropdown list is empty, and VS crashes when navigating to the Debugging tab in the startup project’s properties window. Any help getting it to work would be appreciated :)

    • n0n4m3 says:


      I’ll update the plugin in the next days.
      Thanks for letting me know :)

      • n0n4m3 says:

        Apparently VS2012 changed the way it loads the extensions and this is causing the extension to behave incorrectly in some situations which is the reason why it’s taking me so long to update the add-in. As soon as I fix this I’ll post it here, I’m sorry about that.

        • n0n4m3 says:

          I updated the CLIArgsMadeEasy2012. Please make sure the add-in is visible in the Visual Studio’s toolbar before opening a solution. I’ll let you know as soon as I fix this problem.

    • Armen Yeghiazaryan says:

      I am also suffering from this problem. Not only crashes when navigating to Debugging tab, but also when clicking on “Startup Project” label, right next to Command line window icon.

  11. Matthew Cox says:

    It’s good to see that you are still working on this, although I actually ended up writing my own extension for the purpose (I really wanted that dockable textbox, and I ended up adding several other features too).

    One thing I haven’t got working though – detecting the properties window closing.
    Has any of the process you detail here changed for 2012?

    • n0n4m3 says:

      It still works on 2012, at least in the tests I did the plugin worked well. I’ve already started working on the textbox too to include in the extension but I still need to fix the other bug that was caused by some improvements on VS2012.

  12. Sky says:

    first thanks for your efforts to make such usefull tools, I met with a problem that some already met, that is: I get the package file from your link, four files in the package, when I double click the extension.vsixmanifest, it just open in VS2010, how should I config these files to make them take effect. thanks again.

    • n0n4m3 says:

      Press “Shift” key and right click on the file, you should see an option saying “Open with…”
      If you don’t see Microsoft Visual Studio Version Selector in the list, click on browse then navigate to:
      “%ProgramFiles%\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\MSEnv” or (“%ProgramFiles(x86)%\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\MSEnv” for 64-bit systems) and select VSLauncher.exe

      Let me know if that works!

      • Sky says:

        thanks for your reply, I try your way, but it doesn’t work, I open the extension.vsixmanifest with VSLauncher.exe. but there is nothing in the add-in manager after reboot vs2010.

        • n0n4m3 says:

          It should appear under Extension Manager and not Add-in manager. Can you check if it appears there?

          • Sky says:

            already checked, only Visual AssistX, not include CLIArgsMadeEasy.
            do I need .Vsix not .vsixmanifest? It seem some guys met with my issues, are they already ok now?

          • n0n4m3 says:

            Weird.. you should install the VSIX file not the manifest.
            I think everyone else got it working since no one ever complained about it.

  13. fxam says:

    Hi, nice plugin!
    One annoying problem though, the VS2012 plugin needs us to press “Enter” after entering arguments in the toolbar, otherwise the program will run with the previous arguments.

    • n0n4m3 says:

      Thank you!

      I’m trying to get some time to finish a new version that works fine in all versions meaning that it installs itself has a toolbox instead of the VS’s toolbar.
      I’ll let you know once it’s ready, it’s not far from it.

  14. amyth says:

    Hi n0n4m3,

    Very useful plugin!
    I have a query regarding CLIArgs Combo. Is there any way to remove/clear items that are stored in combo?

    • n0n4m3 says:

      Hi Amyth,

      The items stored in the combo are saved by Visual Studio automatically. I think they’re saved somewhere inside the registry but not 100% sure.
      I’m working on a new version on the plugin that allows you to delete the entries. It’s about 80% complete.

      • ankur.jain says:

        HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\VisualStudio\10.0\MRUCombos is a location where its storing the values.
        So I am deleting wrong entries from here only.

  15. Iliyan says:

    This seems like a great extension and exactly what I need! Unfortunately, I cannot install it on Visual Studio 2013 :-( Do you plan to either release a VS2013 version or the source code?


    • n0n4m3 says:

      I’m working on a new version of the plugin which will have a custom toolbox instead of the toolbar integration. I hope to have an alpha version available for VS2012 and VS2013 in 1 week.
      Please check back next week and you’ll see this new version.

  16. n0n4m3 says:

    I’ve finally released a new version of the extension compatible with VS2012 and VS2013. Download it here
    Please forward me any bugs you may find.
    Thank you!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.