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File Types Created for Visual C++ Projects

This topic describes all the types of files that are associated with Visual C++ projects. The actual files included in your project depend on the project type and the options you select when using a wizard.

When you create a Visual C++ project, you might be creating a new solution, or you might be adding a project to a solution. Non-trivial applications are commonly developed with multiple projects in a solution.

Projects usually produce either an EXE or a DLL. Projects can be dependent on each other; during the build process, the Visual C++ environment checks dependencies both within and between projects. Each project has core source code, and depending on the kind of project, it may have many other files containing various aspects of the project. The contents of these files are indicated by the file extension. The Visual Studio development environment uses the file extensions to determine how to handle the file contents during a build.

The following table shows common files in a Visual C++ project, and identifies them with their file extension. Throughout this section, Projname represents the name of the project.

File extension

Type

Contents

.asmx

Source

Deployment file.

.asp

Source

Active Server Page file.

.atp

Project

Application template project file.

.bmp, .dib, .gif, .jpg, .jpe, .png

Resource

General image files.

.bsc

Compiling

The browser code file.

.cpp; .c

Source

Main source code files for your application.

.cur

Resource

Cursor bitmap graphic file.

.dbp

Project

Database project file.

.disco

Source

The dynamic discovery document file. Handles XML Web service discovery.

.exe, .dll

Project

Executable or dynamic-link library files.

.h

Source

The header, or include, file.

.htm, .html, .xsp, .asp, .htc, .hta, .xml

Resource

Common Web files.

.HxC

Project

Help project file.

.ico

Resource

Icon bitmap graphic file.

.idb

Compiling

The state file, containing dependency information between source files and class definitions, which can be used by the compiler during minimal rebuild and incremental compilation. Use the /Fd compiler option to specify the name of the .idb file. See /Gm (Enable Minimal Rebuild) for more information.

.idl

Compiling

The interface definition language file. See Interface Definition (IDL) File in the Windows SDK for more information.

.ilk

Linking

Incremental link file. See /INCREMENTAL for more information.

.map

Linking

A text file containing linker information. Use the /Fm compiler option to name the map file. See /MAP for more information.

.ncb

Solution

The no compile browser file.

.obj, .o

 

Object files, compiled but not linked.

.pch

Debug

Precompiled header file.

.pdb

Debug

The program debug database file. See What Are .pdb Files? for more information.

.rc, .rc2

Resource

Resource script files to generate resources.

.sbr

Compiling

Source browser intermediate file. The input file for BSCMAKE.

.sln

Solution

The solution file.

.suo

Solution

The solution options file.

.txt

Resource

Text file, usually the "readme" file.

.vap

Project

Visual Studio Analyzer project file.

.vbg

Solution

Compatible project group file.

.vbp, .vip, .vbproj

Project

The Visual Basic project file.

.vcproj

Project

The Visual C++ project file. See Project Files and Makefiles for more information.

.vdproj

Project

The Visual Studio deployment project file.

.vmx

Project

The macro project file.

.vup

Project

The utility project file.

For information on other files associated with Visual Studio, see File Types and File Extensions in Visual Studio .NET.

Project files are organized into folders in Solution Explorer. Visual C++ creates a folder for source files, header files, and resource files, but you can reorganize these folders or create new ones. You can use folders to organize explicitly logical clusters of files within the hierarchy of a project. For example, you could create folders to contain all your user interface source files, or specifications, documentation, or test suites. All file folder names should be unique.

When you add an item to a project, you add the item to all configurations for that project, regardless of whether or not the item is buildable. For example, if you have a project named MyProject, adding an item adds it to both the Debug and Release project configurations.

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