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C++ templates enable you to define a family of functions or classes that can operate on different types of information. The Microsoft implementation of C++ templates is based on the ISO/ANSI C++ Standard.

Use templates in situations that result in duplication. For example, you can use function templates to create a set of functions that apply the same algorithm to different data types. Or you can use class templates to develop a set of type-safe classes. Templates are sometimes a better solution than C macros and void pointers, and they are especially useful when working with collections (one of the main uses for templates in MFC) and smart pointers.

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See Also

Active Template Library (ATL) | C++ Language Reference