Re: Include Files Directory Structure

"Balog Pal" <>
Mon, 11 Jun 2012 03:08:03 +0200
"Mike Copeland" <>

   stdafx.h normally serves a single purpose: precompiled header. And is
specific for the project.
   So, having that the only good place of stdafx.h is the project's
private dir
for its includes (that may be its only dir that also has the .cpp files.)
You can access includes for sharing from there either directly or via
'include directories' option in the project.
   And certainly instead of writing #include "stdafx.h" in your sources
just make it include via the 'focred include' option, where you can spell
$(projectdir)stdafx.h or something like that, independently of all the

  How do I do that? I don't understand this idiom. 8<{{

We're pretty much offtopic here, so please read the compiler options, most
provide enough help on the GUI by just selecting it. And where you enter the
option text, it shows available macros with their current value.

  I'm unable to find any examples (by googling) that demonstrate how to
use a single "stdafx.h" file in sources other than the directory in
which the source files reside (or how to set up a common "include"

What's there to demonstrate? You can use any include filenames residing
anywhere at all. The .pch is NOT created form a header, but from the file
you mark for 'Create' option -- that is normally stdafx.cpp if you use
defaults. Then you shall have the same includes in the other files in the
same order up to #pragma headerstop (or all in the created thing.)

  Well, I can't get that to work. <sigh> I tried to specify a specific
directory (/incl) that has all my common include files, but the compiler
"can't see" this location from where it's doing the project compile. I
would have thought your statement here was so, but I cannot get the
project stdafx.h include references to point to my /incl directory. 8

Well, everyone else can... If you actually tried setting the additinal
include dir option, used up all internal diagnostics (/showincludes, most
detailed build info, ...) and still no luck, try sysinternals' process
monitor to see where the compiler attempts to open your files.

So, for example you can name it stdafx_$(projectname).h and keep in that
common directory.

  And how do I declare that specific name in my project's sources so
the compiler actually sees that stdafx.h file? This seems to be where
I'm having difficulty: the M$ file system references.

You configure that in project options that are saved to .vcxproj. And used
by msbuild that drives the compilation.

In the solution explorer right click on the project -> properties -> a few
hundred options...

Though it IMO makes no sense whatsoever, common dirs are for common
and those that are used by a single project better kept there.

  Which what I'm trying to do. As I work on multiple projects, I don't
want to have to manage multiple instances of my common library include
files as I change any one of them. So, it makes sense that I keep the
common files in one location, right?

Absolutely. :)

In your case I'd probably have two forced includes, one common and one
project-specific, in that order.

  Isn't this the way most C/C++ programmers set their system up? Here
I'm trying to (finally) do things "the right way", moreso than before.

Dunno what most people do :) Would guess most accept most of the defaults
created by VS wizards. That hardcode the #include, hardcode the name
stdafx.h. Probably okay as starting point.

For big solutions better use common .props. But it's advanced stuff, after
one mastered the basic options.

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