Using COFF-Format Information or DLL Exports

Visual Studio 6.0

The Visual C++ debugger uses CodeView-format debug information. If CodeView-format information is not available, Visual C++ can use two additional types of information:

  • COFF-format debugging information

  • DLL export tables

COFF is a format used by some other debuggers. You can find COFF-format information in the MSVBVM50.DBG file shipped provided with Visual Basic 5.01, for example.

Reading symbolic information from DLL export tables can be useful if you are working with Windows 95 system DLLs, Windows messages, Windows procedures (WindowProcs), COM objects, or marshalling.

Reading COFF and DLL export information entails some overhead, so this capability is turned off by default.

To use COFF-format information or DLL exports

  1. On the Tools menu, click Options.

  2. The Options dialog appears. Select the Debug tab.

  3. Select the Load COFF & Exports check box.

    The calls are listed in the calling order, with the current function (the most deeply nested) at the top.

To see whether a DBG file contains CodeView- or COFF-format information, use . Look in the Debug Directories section of the output file for COFF (coff) or CodeView (cv) entries.

To see what symbols are available in the export table of a DLL, use . Symbols are available for any 32-bit system DLLs. By reading the dumpbin /exports output, you can see the exact function name, including non-alphanumeric characters. This is useful for setting a breakpoint on a function. Function names from DLL export tables may appear truncated elsewhere in the debugger.