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Important This document may not represent best practices for current development, links to downloads and other resources may no longer be valid. Current recommended version can be found here.

Commands in a Makefile

A description block or inference rule specifies a block of commands to run if the dependency is out-of-date. NMAKE displays each command before running it, unless /S, .SILENT, !CMDSWITCHES, or @ is used. NMAKE looks for a matching inference rule if a description block is not followed by a commands block.

A commands block contains one or more commands, each on its own line. No blank line can appear between the dependency or rule and the commands block. However, a line containing only spaces or tabs can appear; this line is interpreted as a null command, and no error occurs. Blank lines are permitted between command lines.

A command line begins with one or more spaces or tabs. A backslash ( \ ) followed by a newline character is interpreted as a space in the command; use a backslash at the end of a line to continue a command onto the next line. NMAKE interprets the backslash literally if any other character, including a space or tab, follows the backslash.

A command preceded by a semicolon (;) can appear on a dependency line or inference rule, whether or not a commands block follows:

project.obj : project.c project.h ; cl /c project.c

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