Getting Started with Visual C++ Express Edition 

With Visual C++ Express Edition, you can create Visual C++ .NET projects, including Windows Forms applications. You can also create C and C++ programs that conform to ANSI and ISO standards.

The Visual C++ Express Edition provides a subset of the functionality available in other Visual C++ editions. As such, some components, libraries, or features available in these editions are not available in this version of the product. For these features, you would need to upgrade to another version of Visual C++. For more information on these editions, see Visual C++ Editions.


The documentation included with Visual C++ Express Edition is a subset of the documentation included in other versions of Visual Studio. As such, you may encounter links to topics that are not available. Complete documentation is available online at

  • If you install the Platform SDK, Windows development is supported for native Win32 applications in a limited way (for example, you will not be able to create a Win32 project from the Visual C++ Express Edition IDE). See How to: Use Visual C++ Express Edition with the Microsoft Platform SDK for more information.

  • In Visual C++ Express Edition only, the 64-bit target selection is available but can only be used if the appropriate 64-bit SDK is installed. If the appropriate SDK is not installed, selecting a target for which the SDK is not installed will result in an error.

  • Windows Forms applications created with previous versions of Visual Studio .NET can be compiled and run if the Platform SDK is installed.

In This Section

Visual C++ Editions

Describes features available in different editions of Visual C++.

Visual C++ Guided Tour

Provides introductory topics on the various types of projects you can create using Visual C++, as well as an introduction to the Visual Studio IDE.

How Do I in Visual C++ Express

Provides categorized lists of Help pages that address key programming tasks of interest to Visual C++ developers.

Related Sections

See Also