Switches are used at the command line as parameters to ampersand.exe Some of the switches are still experimental, while others are very useful. Since Ampersand-v3.5.3, it is possible to use a configuration file, reducing the need to have a lot of switches every time you use ampersand.exe. A configuration file can be used using the --config switch.

Generic Program Information

-h, -?, --help

Print a usage message briefly summarizing these command-line options and the bug-reporting address, then exit.

-V, --version

Print the version number of ampersand to the standard output stream. This version number should be included in all bug reports (see below).

Other switches


generate graphics in an alternate way. (you may experiment with this option to see the differences for yourself)


do not use colours in generated graphics


Use a specified config file (*.yaml). See --sampleConfigFile to get a template


generate crowfoot notation in graphics.


Custom.css file to customize the style of the prototype.

--dbName=NAME (-d)

database name (overrules environment variable CCdbName, defaults to filename)


Only used in combination with --fspec. Diagnose your Ampersand script (generates a .pdf file).

--export[=file] (-e)

export as plain Ampersand script.

--fspec=FORMAT (-f)

generate a functional specification document in specified format (FORMAT=[Asciidoc, Context, Docbook, Html, Latex, Man, Markdown, Mediawiki, Opendocument, Org, Pandoc, Plain, Rst, Rtf, Texinfo, Textile]).

--interfaces (-x)

generate interfaces.


Pick 'NL' for Dutch or 'EN' for English, as the language to be used in your output. Without this option, output is written in the language of your context. Note that this switch is about the output language. If you use multiple languages (using IN DUTCH or IN ENGLISH at the appropriate places in your script), this is the way to select the language in which the output document is written.


prefix database identifiers with this namespace, in order to isolate namspaces.


Do not generate static files into the prototype directory


omit the diagnosis chapter from the functional specification document.

--outputDir=DIR (-o)

output directory (dir overrules environment variable CCdirOutput).


Generate an .xmlx file containing the populations of your script.

--proto[=DIRECTORY] (-p)

generate a functional prototype (overrules environment variable CCdirPrototype).


generate a table of references in the Natural Language chapter, for instance for legal traceability.


write a sample configuration file (sampleconfig.yaml)

--verbose (-V)

verbose error message format.

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