WriteLinesToFile task

Writes the paths of the specified items to the specified text file.

Task parameters

The following table describes the parameters of the WriteLinestoFile task.

Parameter Description
File Required ITaskItem parameter.

Specifies the file to write the items to.
Lines Optional ITaskItem[] parameter.

Specifies the items to write to the file.
Overwrite Optional Boolean parameter.

If true, the task overwrites any existing content in the file.
Encoding Optional String parameter.

Selects the character encoding, for example, "Unicode". See also Encoding.
WriteOnlyWhenDifferent Optional Boolean parameter.

If true, the target file specified, if it exists, will be read first to compare against what the task would have written. If identical, the file is not written to disk and the timestamp will be preserved.


If Overwrite is true, creates a new file, write the contents to the file, and then closes the file. If the target file already exists, it is overwritten. If Overwrite is false, appends the contents to file, creating the target file if it does not already exist.

In addition to the parameters listed above, this task inherits parameters from the TaskExtension class, which itself inherits from the Task class. For a list of these additional parameters and their descriptions, see TaskExtension base class.


The following example uses the WriteLinesToFile task to write the paths of the items in the MyItems item collection to the file specified by the MyTextFile item collection.

<Project xmlns="http://schemas.microsoft.com/developer/msbuild/2003">

        <MyTextFile Include="Items.txt"/>
        <MyItems Include="*.cs"/>

    <Target Name="WriteToFile">


In this example we use a property with embedded newlines to write a text file with multiple lines. If an entry in Lines has embedded newline characters, the new lines will be included in the output file. In this way, you can reference multi-line properties.

<Project Sdk="Microsoft.NET.Sdk">

  <Target Name="WriteLaunchers" AfterTargets="CopyFilesToOutputDirectory">
dotnet %~dp0$(AssemblyName).dll %*

        Lines="$(LauncherCmd)" />

See also