Inputs 1

In this page, you'll learn to retrieve user input using one of two methods: .CmdArgs and parseArgs.

When you starting making custom commands, it's likely that you'll be starting off with basic "tag-like" commands which respond with constant (unchanging) output when you run them. However, as you delve deeper into custom commands, it's likely that you'll have to work with the arguments that users provide.

YAGPDB's template-structures provide several ways of working with arguments, the two most popular of which are:

  • the parseArgs "function"

  • .CmdArgs

We'll be going through both of these in order. Note that in addition to these, there are also several other ways of working with arguments which include using .StrippedMsg, .Args, and to a certain degree .Cmd (which does not concern arguments, but the trigger used). However, we'll be talking about .CmdArgs and parseArgs today, with the others coming in a later chapter.


For beginners going into intermediate level custom commands, it's likely that you'll want to start off with the parseArgs function. It works like any other function, with the syntax parseArgs <minimum number of args> <error message> ...cargs.

parseArgs Syntax

This may seem quite confusing at first, so we'll go over each of the required arguments for parseArgs.

  1. <number of args> - This is the minumum number of args you want parseArgs to parse or expect. For example, if you wanted to parse a user argument and a string argument, this would be 2. If you wanted to parse a user argument which is optional, this would be 0.

  2. <error message> - This is the message that YAGPDB will send if the command was used with incorrect arguments. You can leave this blank for YAGPDB to automatically construct an error message from the descriptions of the cargs provided (we'll talk about this later).

  3. ...cargs - parseArgs is a variadic function of sorts, which means it can allow as many or as little cargs as you wish. carg is a function itself, describing the argument you want to parse. It takes the syntax carg <type> <description>, where type is one of the following types (enclosed in quotes, like "int"):

    • int (whole number)

    • float (decimal number)

    • string (text)

    • user (user mentions, resolves to the user structure)

    • userid (mentions or user IDs, resolves to the ID itself)

    • member (mentions or user IDs, resolves to the member structure)

    • channel (channel mention or ID, resolves to the channel structure)

    • role (role name or ID, resolves as type *discordgo.Role)

    • duration (duration that is human-readable, i.e 10h5m or 10 hour 5 minutes would both resolve to the same duration)

      The <description> of the carg is what we were talking about earlier: If a user does not execute a command with the arguments expect, YAGPDB with construct an error message from this description.

Examples of parseArgs usage

Here are some examples of possible usage of parseArgs, in case you are still confused:

  • parseArgs 2 "Syntax is " (carg "channel" "channel to send to") (carg "string" "text to send") _This was taken from the _documentation

  • parseArgs 1 "" (carg "user" "user to see")

Alright then, now you understand the format of parseArgs. However, it's really quite useless in it's current state, as we don't know how to retrieve the parsed arguments yet!

Retrieving arguments from parseArgs

Alright, let's take this example here: parseArgs 1 "" (carg "user" "user to see").

If you just copy and paste this into a new command, you can see that the output is somewhat strange - either it gives the error message based off the description of the user carg, or it gives us some strange-looking output, like {[0xc036a2fd60] [0xc02c7e7b00]}.

You may be a little confused about how you would retrieve the parsed arguments from this parseArgs, but don't worry! It's really more simple than it looks.

Take this example code: {{ $args := parseArgs 1 "" (carg "user" "user to see") }} and paste this into a new command. Voila! It either gives an error message or does nothing at all. Wait... what?

This is because parseArgs returns either an error message (if the arguments provided were invalid) or an object of the type *customcommands.ParsedArgs. You can retrieve arguments by calling .Get on the reference to the parseArgs output, like the below:

{{ $args := parseArgs 1 "" (carg "user" "user to see") }} {{/* We store the output of parseArgs in a variable */}}
{{ ($args.Get 0).Mention }} {{/* We .Get() the first argument, which is a user object, and then we call the .Mention property which mentions the user */}}

The above example would mention the user which you provided $args.Get 0 represents the first parsed argument which is an user structure here and we can use .Mention on it to fetch the user's mention. Notice that there is some text enclosed within {{/* and */}}. Text enclosed within this is a comment and it is completely ignored by the compiler and does not produce an output (response) either.

In YAGPDB and coding in general, indexes start from 0, not 1, so if you wanted to get the first argument from parseArgs, you'd use ($args.Get 0), not ($args.Get 1). The latter would actually get the second argument from parseArgs, rather than the first.

Example :

{{$args := parseArgs 2 "Syntax is <user> <message>" 
(carg "member" "member to imitate")
(carg "string" "message")}}

{{$member := $args.Get 0}}
{{if $member.Nick}}
    {{$member.Nick}} : {{$args.Get 1}}
    {{$member.User.Username}} : {{$args.Get 1}}

Output :

Explanation :

In the above example, the command accepts two arguments- a member and a string. Member argument can be passed by providing the underlying user's id or by mentioning the user. The rest of the text following the first argument is parsed as string. If the member has a nickname , their nickname is used at the start of the message , otherwise their username is used. The rest of the message is then output as is. Note: here that all the text following the first argument including spaces is parsed as one single string argument.


parseArgs has a slightly "hidden" or unknown feature called IsSet. When you have a number of optional arguments in your parseArgs, you can use IsSet to check whether these arguments exist. This is a little difficult to explain, so let's take the example here:

{{ $args := parseArgs 0 "" (carg "user" "target user") }}
{{ if $args.IsSet 0 }}
    {{ ($args.Get 0).Mention }}, hello world!
{{ else }}
    {{ .User.Mention }}, hello world!
{{ end }}

Let's explain this line by line.

  1. {{ $args := parseArgs 0 "" (carg "user" "target user") }} - Here, we put the output of parseArgs into a variable. Note the minimum number of arguments here is 0, meaning that the user is optional. We'll see why in the next line.

  2. {{ if $args.IsSet 0 }} - In this line, we check whether the first argument exists. If so, we send {{ ($args.Get 0).Mention }}, hello world!

  3. {{ else }} ... {{ end }}This block is executed when the optional user argument is not there. We default to mentioning the triggering user.

IsSet is extremely useful if you have several optional arguments and you want to check whether they exist / were provided by the user quickly.


Here are some ideas for what you can do with parseArgs:

  • Create a simple echo command which "echoes" what you said back to you

  • Create a command which gets the ID of a mentioned user


Sometimes, you will want to use .CmdArgs instead of parseArgs. .CmdArgs is much less complicated than parseArgs - it's simply a slice of all the arguments the user provided just like YAGPDB sees them. For example, take this basic seeargs command and paste in the following code:

{{ $allArgs := .CmdArgs }}
{{ joinStr ", " $allArgs}}

Let's say we used -seeargs "hello world". As YAGPDB sees text enclosed in quotations as one argument, it would repeat back to us hello world!. However, let's say we used -seeargs hello world instead. Instead of giving us the same output, it would instead repeat hello, world.

There's nothing too crazy about .CmdArgs - it's simply a slice(collection similar to an array) of string arguments that are unparsed(in their original state). If you want to parse the arguments, you will have to do it manually. This will be explored in a later chapter.

String Manipulation Action

In the above example we see a new function called joinStr which belongs to the category of string manipulation function documented here. Some basic string manipulation function with usage will be explained below :

  1. lower : Syntax is lower string . This is a action which converts all letters into lower case. Other characters which do not have a defined lower case remain unaffected.\

  2. upper : Syntax is upper string . This is a a which converts all letters into upper(title) case.

    Other characters which do not have a defined upper(title) case remain unaffected.\

  3. title : Syntax is title string. It returns a string with the first letter of each word capitalized(in title case). Subsequent characters in the word remain unaffected. Note that word here is not delimited by only whitespace. Some other characters (like ; or #) behave as word separators and the first letter following them is capitalized as well. Example: {{title "hellO World! | @m g00d o_k. ää##spam;a"}} will return Above will return : HellO World! | @M G00d O_k. Ää##Spam;A .\

  4. joinStr : Syntax is joinStr separator string_or_string_slice(s). This is a very useful action used for joining strings or string slices together into a single string. Separator is the character(s) that is inserted between each element while forming the final string. It can be a null string "" as well which simply joins all elements together without placing any extra character in between while joining them. Note that separator is a string itself and should be enclosed in "" or `` if specified as a string literal.

    1. Example 1 : {{$x := joinStr "," "word1" "word no 2" "" "3"}}{{$x}} Above code will create a single string word1,word no 2,,3 and assign it to variable $x which is output as response. Note how each element is joined by the separator , . Also note how while joining blank strings, multiple separators are simply placed side-by-side.\

    2. Example 2: {{$s := joinStr "++" "0" .CmdArgs "last"}}{{$s}} In the above code, let us assume we invoke the code with following Arguments : one two 3. joinStr action will produce a single string 0++one++two++3++last. Note how the separator can be multiple characters. Also note that each entry of the slice(collection) .CmdArgs is treated as a separate element.

  5. split : Syntax is split string separatorThis is almost the reverse of the joinStr action and it splits a string at the specified separator producing a string slice. Note that separator is a string itself and should be enclosed in "" or `` if specified as a string literal. Separator can be multiple characters.\

    1. Example:{{$s := split "this-is-what-it-is" "is"}} Above action produces a string slice by breaking the string at every occurrence of the separator. It produces the following string slice(collection) ["th" "-" "-what-it-" ""] as output which is stored into the variable called $s.

Note that joinStr action ignores the all initial null string characters while forming the final string. Subsequent null string characters after a non null element are not ignored. Example : {{joinStr "," "" "hehe" "" ""}} produces the output hehe,,

Working with .CmdArgs

As .CmdArgs is an slice (similar to an array) , to get a given argument, use index with the index of the CmdArg you want. Note that as we said before, indexes start at zero, so if you wanted to get the first argument, you would do (index .CmdArgs 0).

If you wanted to get all the arguments from a given index and beyond, you could use (slice .CmdArgs <index>) - for example, joinStr " " (slice .CmdArgs 1) would give you world YAGPDB if you ran it with -command hello world YAGPDB.

Index out of range

Inevitably, you will find yourself looking at this error when working with .CmdArgs. Say you have index .CmdArgs 0, and you run it with no arguments - YAGPDB will respond with an error saying index out of range: 0. How do we fix this?

The first method is using an if statement with just .CmdArgs:

{{ if .CmdArgs }}
    {{index .CmdArgs 0}}
{{ else }}
    You provided no arguments.
{{ end }}

Now, this will not error. But say we use index .CmdArgs 1 with the above? It will still error if only 1 argument is provided, because if .CmdArgs just checked whether there are any arguments.

We can fix this by using a comparison operator, like eq or ge and comparing (len .CmdArgs):

{{ if eq (len .CmdArgs) 2 }}
    {{index .CmdArgs 1}}
{{ else }}
    You need to provide at least 2 arguments.
{{ end }}

Voila! No more errors. You can do this with any comparison operator you want. Note in the above example, we have used a new function called len. It is a special functiom which outputs the size of a collection (like .CmdArgs here) or byte-length of a string, depending on datatype passed.

Hopefully this chapter helped you understand retrieving and parsing user input a little better. Good luck!

Pro Tip: A good way to view string slices is using the printf action as follows. {{printf "%q" $slice}}.

Example: {{printf "%q" (split "" ".")}} Produces the output : ["ok" "gg" ""] %q stands for quoted string. Thus, it outputs each element in form of of a quoted string making it easier to spot invisible characters and spaces. Also note that the output might represent certain special characters using escape sequences as discussed earlier.

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