Setting up a Simple Visual C++ Project

COM1100 -- Fall 2000 -- Professor Futrelle

Many of you will know some or even all of the procedures below for working with projects under Visual C++ for Windows. But for the record, I've included a lot of details below, mainly in the form of screen shots. (The screen shots are taken from my ThinkPad running Windows 98 but they should be the same under Win2000.)

Setting up a new folder for your project.    Use Windows Explorer to create a new folder on your hard drive (with mouse-right).

Finding Visual C++    Just navigate to the Visual Studio folder.

Choosing your project type and location.    After you choose "New" from the File menu in Visual C++, you'll get this dialogue. Choose the Win32 Console Application, as shown, and name your project and store it in the directory you've created -- typically with the same name.

Naming your project: Please name your project, or at least the folder it's in, with something informative. I suggest something like "rpf1101W01Lab2" (but use your own initials). The same goes for the floppy disks you hand in. Please label your floppy disks with your name and the class and year. If necessary buy labels or get some from a friend. Unlabeled disks can get mixed up with others and you'll be in trouble.

Next, choose an entirely empty project.    This assures that you have complete control over the types of libraries included with your code.

Open a file of the appropriate type.    The figure shows a file being created by choosing that file type using "New" from the File menu. The usual choice is a C++ Source File. In other cases, you may need to choose a C/C++ Header File. Notice that "Add to project" is checked on the upper right, so your file will automatically be added to your project.

Use the various IDE tools to help your coding.    This figure shows the menu that allows you to quickly navigate to any class member. The class, "Sorting", is chosen on the left and the drop-down menu shows the various class member functions. There are many other types of tools available in Visual C++ and many other IDEs (Integrated Development Environments).

As you write code, build your project.    If there are compile problems, they'll be listed in another window. Double-clicking them will take you to the offending source code line. As I work I normally use the function keys, F7 to build and F5 to run. It's as simple as that.

The files you should back up.    For simplicity, back up all files in your project folder. For a simple console project they're all quite small and fit easily onto a floppy. But do not back up the Debug folder or its contents. It has very large files in it which will be recreated when you rebuild.

Do your program development on the hard drive. At frequent intervals, save all your work on TWO floppy disks. Hand one in and keep the other safe. We've had many cases in the past when a floppy won't read correctly or otherwise gets corrupted and a student loses ALL their work and has to start over from scratch. Don't let such an unfortunate incident happen to you.

Back up all files in your project to a folder on your floppy except the Debug folder and its contents. (It will be recreated when you next build your project.)