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CreateItem Task

Populates item collections with the input items. This allows items to be copied from one list to another.


This task is deprecated. Starting with .NET Framework 3.5, item groups may be placed within Target elements.

The following table describes the parameters of the CreateItem task.




Optional String parameter.

Specifies additional metadata to attach to the output items. Specify the metadata name and value for the item with the following syntax:


Multiple metadata name/value pairs should be separated with a semicolon. If either the name or the value contains a semicolon or any other special characters, they must be escaped. For more information, see How to: Escape Special Characters in MSBuild.


Optional ITaskItem[] parameter.

Specifies the items to exclude from the output item collection. This parameter can contain wildcard specifications. For more information, see MSBuild Items and How to: Build All Files in a Directory Except One.


Required ITaskItem[]parameter.

Specifies the items to include in the output item collection. This parameter can contain wildcard specifications.


Optional ITaskItem[] output parameter.

Specifies the items included in the output item collection.

The following code example creates a new item collection named MySourceItemsWithMetadata from the item collection MySourceItems. The CreateItem task populates the new item collection with the items in the MySourceItems item collection that contain MyAddMetadata values of true. It then adds an additional metadata entry named MyMetadata with a value of Hello to each item in the new collection.

After the task is executed, the MySourceItemsWithMetadata item collection contains the items file1.resx and file3.resx, both with metadata entries for MyAddMetadata and MyMetadata. The MySourceItems item collection is unchanged.

<Project xmlns="">

        <MySourceItems Include="file1.resx;file2.resx" />

    <Target Name="NewItems">



The following table describes the value of the output item after task execution. Item metadata is shown in parenthesis after the item.

Item collection



file1.resx (MyMetadata="Hello")

file3.resx (MyMetadata="Hello")