C/C++ Building Reference
Visual C++ provides two ways of building a C/C++ program. The easiest (and most common) way is to build within the Visual C++ development environment. The other way is to build from a command prompt using command-line tools. In either case, you can create your source files using the Visual C++ source editor or a third-party editor of your choice.
If your program uses a makefile rather than a .vcproj file, you can still build it in the development environment as an external project.
In This Section
- Frequently Asked Questions on Building
- Provides links to frequently asked questions when building.
- Compiling a C/C++ Program
- Describes the compiler, which creates an object file containing machine code, linker directives, sections, external references, and function/data names.
- Describes the linker, which combines code from the object files created by the compiler and from statically linked libraries, resolves the name references, and creates an executable file.
- Release Builds
- Presents information on why and when you would want to change from a debug build to a release build and also discusses some of the problems you may encounter when changing from a debug to a release build.
- Optimizing Your Code
- Provides links to topics discussing the mechanisms for optimizing code:
- C/C++ Build Tools
- Provides the following command-line tools for viewing or manipulating build output:
- C/C++ Build Errors
- Introduces the build errors section in the table of contents.
- C/C++ Preprocessor Reference
- Discusses the preprocessor, which prepares source files for the compiler by translating macros, operators, and directives.
- Understanding Custom Build Steps and Build Events
- Discusses customizing the build process.
- Building a C/C++ Program
- Provides links to topics describing building your program from the command line or from the integrated development environment of Visual Studio.
Compiler and Linker Options
- Setting Compiler Options
- Describes setting compiler options in the development environment or on the command line.
- Compiler Options
- Provides links to topics discussing using compiler options.
- Setting Linker Options
- Describes setting linker options inside or outside the integrated development environment.
- Linker Options
- Provides links to topics discussing using linker options.
Additional Build Tools
- BSCMAKE Reference
- Describes the Microsoft Browse Information Maintenance Utility (BSCMAKE.EXE), which builds a browse information file (.bsc) from .sbr files created during compilation.
- LIB Reference
- Describes the Microsoft 32-Bit Library Manager (LIB.exe), which creates and manages a library of Common Object File Format (COFF) object files.
- EDITBIN Reference
- Describes the Microsoft COFF Binary File Editor (EDITBIN.EXE), which modifies 32-bit Common Object File Format (COFF) binary files.
- DUMPBIN Reference
- Describes the Microsoft COFF Binary File Dumper (DUMPBIN.EXE), which displays information about 32-bit Common Object File Format (COFF) binary files.
- NMAKE Reference
- Describes the Microsoft Program Maintenance Utility (NMAKE.EXE), which is a 32-bit tool that builds projects based on commands contained in a description file.