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Pseudovariables

Pseudovariables are terms used to display certain information in a variable window or the QuickWatch dialog box. You can enter a pseudovariable the same way you would enter a normal variable. Pseudovariables are not variables, however, and do not correspond to variable names in your program.

Suppose you are writing a native code application and want to see the number of handles allocated in your application. In the Watch window, you can enter the following pseudovariable in the Name column, then press Return to evaluate it:

$handles

In native code, you can use the pseudovariables shown in this table:

Pseudovariable

Function

$err

Displays the last error value set with the function SetLastError. The value that is displayed represents what would be returned by the GetLastError function.

Use $err,hr to see the decoded form of this value. For example, if the last error was 3, the $err,hr would display ERROR_PATH_NOT_FOUND : The system cannot find the path specified.

$handles

Displays the number of handles allocated in your application.

$vframe

Displays the address of the current stack frame.

$tid

Displays the thread ID for the current thread.

$env

Displays the environment block in the string viewer.

$cmdline

Displays the command line string that launched the program.

$pid

Displays the process id.

$registername

or

@registername

Displays the contents of the register registername.

Normally, you can display register contents just by entering the register name. The only time you need to use this syntax is when the register name overloads a variable name. If the register name is the same as a variable name in the current scope, the debugger interprets the name as a variable name. That's when $registername or @registername comes in handy.

$clk

Displays the time in clock cycles.

$user

Displays a structure with account information for the account running the application. For security reasons, the password information is not displayed.

$exceptionstack

Displays the stack trace of the current Windows Runtime exception. $ exceptionstack works only in Store apps that are running on Windows 8.1 or later. $ exceptionstack is not supported for C++ and SHE exceptions

$ReturnValue

Displays the return value of a .NET Framework method. See Examine return values of method calls

In C# and Visual Basic, you can use the pseudovariables shown in this table:

Pseudovariable

Function

$exception

Displays information on the last exception. If no exception has occurred, evaluating $exception displays an error message.

In Visual C# only, when the Exception Assistant is disabled, $exception is automatically added to the Locals window when an exception occurs.

$user

Displays a structure with account information for the account running the application. For security reasons, the password information is not displayed.

In Visual Basic, you can use the pseudovariables shown in the following table:

Pseudovariable

Function

$delete or $$delete

Deletes an implicit variable that was created in the Immediate window. The syntax is $delete, variable or$delete, variable.

$objectids or $listobjectids

Displays all active Object IDs as children of the specified expression. The syntax is $objectid, expression or$listobjectids, expression.

$N#

Displays object with Object ID equal to N.

$dynamic

Displays the special Dynamic View node for an object that implements the IDynamicMetaObjectProvider. Interface. The syntax is $dynamic, object. This feature applies only to code that uses .NET Framework version 4. See Dynamic View.

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