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Addon Spotlight: AdvancedIconSelector adds cool features to macro creation


Each week, WoW Insider's Mathew McCurley brings you a fresh look at reader-submitted UIs as well as Addon Spotlight, which focuses on the backbone of the WoW gameplay experience: the user interface. Everything from bags to bars, buttons to DPS meters and beyond -- your addons folder will never be the same.

I don't know about you, but I make decent use of macros. No, I'm not King Macro of Macropolis, but there are choice macros I keep at the ready in case of turmoil or danger. Most notable is a Start Attack macro for most of my heavy DPS abilities so that I'm not missing a second of precious swing time. Macros are a powerful tool in World of Warcraft, with many DPS specializations especially able to string together code and script to swap stances, time abilities, and maximize number output.

It's a beautiful thing. The macro interface in WoW, however, isn't.

Unlike most of WoW's interface, the macro UI is lacking. Cataclysm brought an updated macro UI that fixed a portion of the problems but not the real issues at hand. Learning macros is hard, and naming and selecting images for macros is clunky. I almost have a hard time making that argument because, frankly, I thought everyone just used the #showtooltip command in their macros to pick whichever ability they wanted to use, but then I quickly scolded myself. "Mathew, shame on you," I said. "Macros are not only used for combat abilities. Macros are used for everything! Look at all of those icons." You were right, me. I've got to give credit where credit is due.

Icons are a problem in the current macro interface. The window is too small, there is no smart search feature or sort function of any kind, and the thing just keeps getting more and more icons added to it. That last point would be the biggest positive in the world had it not been for points 1 and 2, making point 3 wholly unmanageable. Addons have come to the rescue.

You guys are the best

Pat yourselves on the back, because my readers are some of the most fun and excited readers we've got around here. When a new addon comes out to fix something that I particularly dislike, you let me know wholesale. When something awesome catches your eye, you want to share it and let the world know. Nice work.

Case in point: @wowglen on Twitter sent me a message with a link to a video review he had made of an addon called AdvancedIconSelector that had me intrigued. I'm always looking for new addons that improve the macro interface, and this addon hinted at joy. So thank you much for the video and the addon suggestion, which you can see on the AzerothUnderachiever YouTube channel.


Wading through the huge selection of macro icons is an enormous pain in the butt. When you finally get a hang of it and remember things like Magey things then yellow things then maybe a paladin thing ... why are there animals now?, it's time to add more icons. You've broken me, Blizzard.

AdvancedIconSelector is a great addon that successfully attempts to categorize each icon in the macro window with keywords and descriptors. Looking for only paladin icons? Type "paladin" into the search box. Do you like and, or, and not syntax support? AdvancedIconSelector totally has that. Search by spell name, color keywords, descriptor keywords like "skull" or "explosion," or anything else you can think of.

Are you making a brand new random mount macro and really want the picture to be a pink tallstrider? Type pink! Type tallstrider! Type anything, and there is probably an icon that has that descriptor attached to it. ... Most likely not, but you get the idea.


One of the tried-and-true hallmarks of a great World of Warcraft addon is how seamlessly the additions make themselves part of the WoW interface. Addons like Hat Trick or Gem Counter achieve this well by sneakily adding in checkboxes or options where you would expect them to be rather than their own separate app-configure world. AdvancedIconSelector adds on to the macro UI perfectly, replacing the small rectangle of sadness with a robust, full window of happiness and celebration.

Adding to the WoW UI is no simple task -- very, very smart people built the damn thing in the first place. Community involvement, however, has created dedicated fans from once-hobbyists given the tools and the power to modify a game like WoW with nearly the control of the developers themselves. When good addons integrate into WoW in an exemplary fashion, they become great addons. Good work, Darthyl.

Oh, and yes, this works for the equipment set selector as well.

Download AdvancedIconSelector at [WoWInterface].

Addon mailbag time!
Hey Mat,

I play a mage and love to customize my game to be better and better, I'm fairly happy with the setup I currently have but am looking for an add-on to fill that last gap in my UI.

Specifically; a while back a pvp friend of mine introduced me to GladiatorlosSA which calls out in bg's and arena's when an opponent uses any big cool down or ability. It's a really simple add-on but it makes a world of difference.

I'm looking for a similar add-on that instead of calling out what my enemies are doing; calls out when my own CD's and procs are up in PvE environments. Visual queues are nice and I have a variety of ways to tell when things come off CD, but I was wondering if you knew of an add-on that operates in much the same way as GladiatorlosSA but worked for personal abilities and procs. Audio queues just simplify my life and Poweraura's and vanilla UI sounds for procs and cd's just aren't cutting it anymore.

Best Regards,
Desperate Mage
Thanks for the email, Desperate Mage. Have I got the addon for you, my friend. Take a look at TellMeWhen, a wonderful addon that allows you to set a ton of conditions for cooldowns, abilities, spellcasts, weapon procs, and much, much more. You name it, TellMeWhen can be configured to tell you when that ability is ready or something has just happened. You can add sounds to alerts or even text if you wanted, and the interface is pretty simple to use.

Check out my Addon Spotlight on TellMeWhen.

See you guys next week.

Addons are what we do on Addon Spotlight. If you're new to mods, Addons 101 will walk you through the basics; see what other players are doing at Reader UI of the Week. If there's a mod you think Addon Spotlight should take a look at, email

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