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This window can display status messages for various features in the integrated development environment (IDE). To display the Output window, select Output from the View menu. To close the Output window and shift focus back to the Editor, press the Escape (ESC) key.
To display the Output window whenever you build a project, select the Show Output window when build starts option in the General, Projects and Solutions, Options Dialog Box. Then, with a code file open for editing, click the Go to Next Message and Go To Previous Message buttons on the Output window toolbar to select entries in the Output pane. As you do this, the insertion point in the code editor jumps to the line of code where the selected problem occurs.
Certain IDE features and commands invoked in the Command Window deliver their output to the Output window. Output from external tools such as .bat and .com files, normally displayed in the DOS window, is routed to an Output pane when you select the Use Output Window option in the External Tools Dialog Box. Many other types of messages can be displayed in Output panes as well. For example, when Transact-SQL syntax in a stored procedure is checked against a target database, the results are displayed in the Output window.
You can also program your own applications to write diagnostic messages at runtime to an Output pane. To do this, use members of the Debug class or Trace class in the System.Diagnostics namespace of the .NET Framework Class Library. Members of the Debug class display output when you build Debug configurations of your solution or project; members of the Trace class display output when you build either Debug or Release configurations. For further information, see Diagnostic Messages in the Output Window.
In Visual C++, you can create custom build steps and build events whose warnings and errors are displayed and counted in the Output pane. Pressing F1 on a line of output will display an appropriate help topic. For further information, see Formatting the Output of a Custom Build Step or Build Event.