NMAKE Reference


For the latest documentation on Visual Studio 2017, see Visual Studio 2017 Documentation.

For the latest documentation on Visual Studio 2017, see NMAKE Reference on docs.microsoft.com. The Microsoft Program Maintenance Utility (NMAKE.EXE) is a command-line tool that builds projects based on commands that are contained in a description file.

NMAKE is included when you install Visual Studio or the Visual C++ command-line build tools. It's not available separately. To download and install Visual Studio, see VisualStudio.com. To install only the command-line tools, download and install Microsoft Visual C++ Build Tools. Both installations include 64-bit and 32-bit native command-line tools that target x64, x86, and ARM.

To use NMAKE, you must run it in a command prompt window that has the required paths and environment variables set for the Visual C++ build tools, libraries, and include files. The easiest way to do this is to run it in a developer command prompt window. For details on how to open a developer command prompt window, see Building on the Command Line. If you'd rather customize your own command prompt window, or if you want to use the x64-hosted compilers or build for x64 or ARM targets, see Setting the Path and Environment Variables for Command-Line Builds.

Running NMAKE

Contents of a Makefile

Description blocks

Commands in a Makefile

Macros and NMAKE

Inference rules

Dot directives

Makefile preprocessing

Building on the Command Line
C/C++ Build Tools
Creating and Managing Visual C++ Projects
Debugging in Visual Studio
C/C++ Building Reference