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MSBuild Reference

MSBuild is the build system for Visual Studio. The following links lead to topics that contain MSBuild reference information.

MSBuild Project File Schema Reference

Describes the XML elements that make up the MSBuild file format.

MSBuild Task Reference

Describes some of the typical tasks that are included with MSBuild.

MSBuild Conditions

Describes the conditions that are available in MSBuild files.

MSBuild Conditional Constructs

Describes how to use the Choose, When, and Otherwise elements.

MSBuild Reserved Properties

Describes the MSBuild reserved properties.

Common MSBuild Project Properties

Describes project properties that are common to all project types, and also properties that are often used by particular project types.

Common MSBuild Project Items

Describes project items that are common to all project types, and also items that are often used by particular project types.

MSBuild Command Line Reference

Describes the arguments and switches that can be used with MSBuild.exe.

MSBuild .Targets Files

Describes the .Targets file that is included in MSBuild.

MSBuild Well-known Item Metadata

Lists the metadata that is created together with every item.

MSBuild Response Files

Explains the .rsp files that contain command-line switches.

Additional Resources for MSBuild

Provides links to MSBuild Web sites and newsgroups.

WPF MSBuild Reference

Contains an MSBuild targets and task reference for Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF).

Special Characters to Escape

Lists the characters that may have to be "escaped" to be interpreted correctly. An escape sequence is a series of characters that signifies that what follows is an alternative interpretation.


Introduces MSBuild and provides links to topics that explain how to use it to build projects.

General Reference for the .NET Framework

Contains reference information about the .NET Framework.


Contains the Conversion namespace reference


Contains the Evaluation namespace reference


Contains the Execution namespace reference


Contains the Framework namespace reference


Contains the Logging namespace reference


Contains the Tasks namespace reference


Contains the Utilities namespace reference