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Special Characters in a .mak File

Windows CE .NET

To use an Nmake.exe special character as a literal character, place a caret (^) in front of it. Nmake.exe ignores carets that precede other characters. The following table shows the Nmake.exe special characters.

Special character Name Usage notes
: Colon  
; Semicolon  
# Number sign Precede a comment with a number sign (#). Nmake.exe ignores text between the number sign and the next newline character.

The following code examples show how to insert comments in a .mak file.

# Comment on line by itself
OPTIONS = /MAP  # Comment on macro definition line

all.exe : one.obj two.obj  # Comment on dependency line
    link one.obj two.obj
# Comment in commands block
#   copy *.obj \objects  # Command turned into comment
    copy one.exe \release

.obj.exe:  # Comment on inference rule line
    link $<

my.exe : my.obj ; link my.obj  # Err: cannot comment this
 # Error: # must be the first character
.obj.exe: ; link $<  # Error: cannot comment this
( Opening parenthesis  
) Closing parenthesis  
$ Dollar sign  
^ Caret A caret within a quoted string is treated as a literal caret character. A caret at the end of a line inserts a literal newline character in a string or macro.

The following code example shows how to specify a literal number sign, by preceding it with a caret (^).

DEF = ^#define  #Macro for a C preprocessing directive
\ Backslash In macros, a backslash followed by a newline character is replaced by a space.
{ Opening brace  
} Closing brace  
! Exclamation point  
@ At sign  
Dash  
% Percent sign In commands, a percent sign is a file specifier. To represent a literal % in a command, specify two percent signs (%%) in place of a single one. In other situations, Nmake.exe interprets a single % literally, but it always interprets two %% as a single %. Therefore, to represent a literal %%, specify either three percent signs, %%%, or four percent signs, %%%%.
$ Dollar sign To represent a literal $ in a command, specify two dollar signs ($$). This method can also be used in other situations where ^$ works.
* Asterisk A file name wildcard. Nmake.exe expands file name wildcards in dependency lines. A wildcard specified in a command is passed to the command; Nmake.exe does not expand it.
" " Quotation marks To use long file names, enclose them within quotation marks (" ").

The following code example shows how to use long file names.

All : "VeryLongFileName.exe"

 Last updated on Friday, October 08, 2004

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