December 2003 Technical Tip Microsoft Visual C++ .NET Quickstart

I recently had the opportunity to teach C++ using Microsoft Visual C++ .NET. This was my first experience with the .NET platform so I had some apprehensions. I will admit there were a few bumps, but once I determined how to get started it was smooth sailing. I took careful notes of the process as I thought some readers might benefit from my experience. So here's the simple way to use Microsoft Visual C++ .NET.

Determine where you want to keep your files

  • Begin by determining where you want to keep your files. For example, I created a folder C:\Bill and will refer to it as such in the instructions which follow.

Creating a Visual C++ .NET Project

  • If you have another project open already choose File, Close Solution
  • Create a project as follows:
    • Choose File, New, Project
    • Visual C++ Projects, Empty Project (.NET)
    • Name: XyzProject
    • Location: C:\Bill
    • OK
  • Important! Choose View, Solution Explorer
  • Create a main( ) method as follows:
    • Within Solution Explorer, right click on Source Files
    • Choose Add, Add New Item
    • Templates: C++ File (.cpp)
    • Name: main
    • Location defaults to C:\Bill\XyzProject
    • Open (can add the code now or later)
    • This creates main.cpp. Of course, main.cpp could have another name...
    • ...but within a Project, only one file can contain a main( ) method.
  • Create a header file (interface file, or .h file) as follows:
    • Within Solution Explorer, right click on Header Files
    • Choose Add, Add New Item
    • Templates: Header File (.h)
    • Name: XyzClass (for example)
    • Location defaults to C:\Bill\XyzProject
    • Open (can add the code now or later)
    • This creates XyzClass.h
  • Create a class file (implementation file, or .cpp file) as follows:
    • Within Solution Explorer...right click on Source Files
    • Choose Add, Add New Item
    • Templates: C++ File (.cpp)
    • Name: XyzClass (for example)
    • Location defaults to C:\Bill\XyzProject
    • Open (can add the code now or later)
    • This creates XyzClass.cpp

To see line numbers while editing

  • Choose Tools, Options, Text Editor, C/C++, General, Line Numbers, OK
  • This will make it easier to find offending statements in the event of compile time errors.

To compile a single unit

  • To compile a single unit, such as to compile XyzClass.cpp after creating XyzClass.cpp and XyzClass.h, choose Build, Compile (or press Ctrl+F7)

To build the project

  • To build the project (compile all units within the project and create a .exe file) choose Build, Rebuild XyzProject

If you get error message C1010

  • If you get the following message: "main.cpp(24) : fatal error C1010: unexpected end of file while looking for precompiled header directive"...it's probably because you are set to use precompiled headers.
  • Turn off precompiled headers as follows:
    • Choose View, Solution Explorer
    • Within Solution Explorer, right click on the project (XyzProject above)
    • Choose Properties, C/C++, Precompiled Headers
    • Click in the box to right of "Create/Use Precompiled Headers"
    • Choose "Not Using Precompiled Headers"
    • Apply, OK

To execute your project

  • Choose Debug, Start Without Debugging (or press Ctrl+F5)

Go to the articles index. Written by Bill Qualls. Copyright © 2003 by Caliber Data Training 800.938.1222