Pragma Directives and the __Pragma Keyword


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The latest version of this topic can be found at Pragma Directives and the __Pragma Keyword. Pragma directives specify machine- or operating-specific compiler features. The __pragma keyword, which is specific to the Microsoft compiler, enables you to code pragma directives within macro definitions.

      #pragma token-string  

Each implementation of C and C++ supports some features unique to its host machine or operating system. Some programs, for example, must exercise precise control over the memory areas where data is put or to control the way certain functions receive parameters. The #pragma directives offer a way for each compiler to offer machine- and operating system-specific features while retaining overall compatibility with the C and C++ languages.

Pragmas are machine- or operating system-specific by definition, and are usually different for every compiler. Pragmas can be used in conditional statements, to provide new preprocessor functionality, or to provide implementation-defined information to the compiler.

The token-string is a series of characters that gives a specific compiler instruction and arguments, if any. The number sign (#) must be the first non-white-space character on the line that contains the pragma; white-space characters can separate the number sign and the word "pragma". Following #pragma, write any text that the translator can parse as preprocessing tokens. The argument to #pragma is subject to macro expansion.

If the compiler finds a pragma that it does not recognize, it issues a warning and continues compilation.

The Microsoft C and C++ compilers recognize the following pragmas:

componentconform 1const_seg
init_seg 1inline_depthinline_recursion
intrinsicloop 1make_public
optimizepackpointers_to_members 1
pop_macropush_macroregion, endregion
strict_gs_checkunmanagedvtordisp 1
  1. Supported only by the C++ compiler.

Some pragmas provide the same functionality as compiler options. When a pragma is encountered in source code, it overrides the behavior specified by the compiler option. For example, if you specified /Zp8, you can override this compiler setting for specific sections of the code with pack:

cl /Zp8 ...  
<file> - packing is 8  
// ...  
#pragma pack(push, 1) - packing is now 1  
// ...  
#pragma pack(pop) - packing is 8  

Microsoft specific

The compiler also supports the __pragma keyword, which has the same functionality as the #pragma directive, but can be used inline in a macro definition. The #pragma directive cannot be used in a macro definition because the compiler interprets the number sign character ('#') in the directive to be the stringizing operator (#).

The following code example demonstrates how the __pragma keyword can be used in a macro. This code is excerpted from the mfcdual.h header in the ACDUAL sample in "Compiler COM Support Samples":

#define CATCH_ALL_DUAL \  
CATCH(COleException, e) \  
{ \  
_hr = e->m_sc; \  
} \  
{ \  
__pragma(warning(push)) \  
__pragma(warning(disable:6246)) /*disable _ctlState prefast warning*/ \  
AFX_MANAGE_STATE(pThis->m_pModuleState); \  
__pragma(warning(pop)) \  
_hr = DualHandleException(_riidSource, e); \  
} \  
return _hr; \  

End Microsoft specific

C/C++ Preprocessor Reference
C Pragmas