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Using Rule Sets to Specify the C++ Rules to Run

In Visual Studio Premium and Visual Studio Ultimate, you can create and modify a custom rule set to meet specific project needs associated with code analysis. To create a custom C++ rule set, a C/C++ project must be open in the Visual Studio IDE. You then open a standard rule set in the rule set editor and then add or remove specific rules and optionally change the action that occurs when code analysis determines that a rule has been violated. 

To create a new custom rule set, you save it by using a new file name. The custom rule set is automatically assigned to the project.

To create a custom rule from a single existing rule set

  1. In Solution Explorer, open the shortcut menu for the project and then choose Properties.

  2. On the Properties tab, choose Code Analysis.

  3. In the Rule Set drop-down list, do one of the following:

    • Choose the rule set that you want to customize.

    - or -

    • Choose <Browse...> to specify an existing rule set that is not in the list.

  4. Choose Open to display the rules in the rule set editor.

To modify a rule set in the rule set editor

  • To change the display name of the rule set, on the View menu, choose Properties Window. Enter the display name in the Name box. Notice that the display name can differ from the file name.

  • To add all the rules of the group to a custom rule set, select the check box of the group. To remove all the rules of the group, clear the check box.

  • To add a specific rule to the custom rule set, select the check box of the rule. To remove the rule from the rule set, clear the check box.

  • To change the action taken when a rule is violated in a code analysis, choose the Action field for the rule and then choose one of the following values:

    Warn - generates a warning.

    Error - generates an error.

    None - disables the rule. This action is the same as removing the rule from the rule set.

To group, filter, or change the fields in the rule set editor by using the rule set editor toolbar

  • To expand the rules in all groups, choose Expand All.

  • To collapse the rules in all groups, choose Collapse All.

  • To change the field that rules are grouped by, choose the field from the Group By list. To display the rules ungrouped, choose <None>.

  • To add or remove fields in rule columns, choose Column Options.

  • To hide rules that do not apply to the current solution, choose Hide rules that do not apply to the current solution.

  • To switch between showing and hiding rules that are assigned the Error action, choose Show rules that can generate Code Analysis errors.

  • To switch between showing and hiding rules that are assigned the Warning action, choose Show rules that can generate Code Analysis warnings.

  • To switch between showing and hiding rules that are assigned the None action, choose Show rules that are not enabled.

  • To add or remove Microsoft default rule sets to the current rule set, choose Add or remove child rule sets.

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