This documentation is archived and is not being maintained.

Viewing Classes and Their Members

Class View is available on the View menu, and displays the symbols used in your applications. Class View contains two panes: an upper Objects pane and a lower Members pane. The Objects pane contains an expandable tree of symbols whose top-level nodes represent projects. To expand a node selected in the tree, click its plus (+) sign or press the plus (+) key on the keypad.

Icons identify hierarchical structures employed within your projects, such as namespaces, types, interfaces, enums, and classes. You can expand these structures to list their members. Properties, methods, events, variables, constants, and other contained items are listed in the Members pane.

In Class View, you can move to where a symbol is defined, referenced, or called. If a symbol is not defined within your projects, its declaration is displayed in the Object Browser. Help is available on .NET Framework classes and COM components.

To search on a symbol displayed in Class View and show search results in the Find Symbol Results window, right-click on the symbol and select Find All References from the shortcut menu.

When you right-click on a project node in Class View, the shortcut menu that opens includes an Add submenu. Some development languages place commands on this Add submenu to insert code into your project. These insertions can include classes, modules, interfaces, methods, variables, or events.

For example, the Add submenu in Class View for an MFC project provides commands to display the Add Class Dialog Box and Add Resource Dialog Box. The exact commands and wizards available on the Add submenu depend upon your programming language and the type of project selected.

Class View displays the symbol hierarchy within your projects. This project-oriented view differs from the list of all available components found in the Object Browser, and from the physical, file-oriented view of your solution provided in Solution Explorer.

When you select a symbol in Class View, the corresponding project and file(s) are also selected in Solution Explorer. All of the commands that are normally available for the symbol in Solution Explorer are also available from within Class View. For example, build commands such as Build, Rebuild, Deploy, and Project Dependencies are available. You can also specify a StartUp Project and initiate debugging in Class View.


You do not need to compile a project to view its symbols in Class View. As you modify the symbols for a project, Class View dynamically refreshes its symbol hierarchy.

If your project is stored under source code control, each Class View symbol displays a signal icon indicating the status of the file where the symbol is defined. Common source code control commands, such as Check Out, Check In, and Get Latest Version are also available on the symbol's shortcut menu.

The following topics provide further guidance on building, debugging, and deploying applications.

Building in Visual Studio

Building projects.

How to: Prepare and Manage Builds

Illustrations of icons used by Class View and descriptions of what they mean.


Debugging projects

How to: Debug Code in the Editor

Procedures for tracking errors in code.

Windows Installer Deployment Tasks

Deploying projects

Visual C++ provides real-time symbol information for Class View, Object Browser, and IntelliSense through .ncb files. An .ncb file is automatically created for each solution from the source files in its projects.