Getting Started with Microsoft Visual Studio 2019

Microsoft Visual Studio is an environment which allows you to create, edit, save, debug, compile, and run C++ programs.

Projects Every C++ program is contained in its own project directory. Whenever you start a new homework assignment or any C++ program, you must create a project within Visual Studio first and add C++ source code files (text files with extension .cpp) to that project. In this handout, we will show you how.

Solutions A solution is a file that groups related C++ projects together in order to organize them. You will only need to create two solutions for this course: one for your homework projects and another for example projects given to you in PIC 10A.

To create your first project and solution for your homework, follow these steps:

Step 1: Open Microsoft Visual Studio by clicking the purple infinity icon visualStudioIcon

Select “Visual C++” from the drop-down menu. Then press “Start Visual Studio.”


Step 2:
Select “Create a new project.”

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Step 3:
Under the “Language” drop down menu, select “C++” and then select “Empty Project” then the “Next” button.”

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Step 4:
Configure your new project. Under the “Project name:” enter the name of your project “Hw1”.   If you are using your own computer, then one can leave the Location item as is. If you are using a Virtual PIC Lab machine, then under “Location:” enter the location where you want to save your project on the U drive, e.g. “U:\”. Under “Solution name:” enter the name of your solution “Homework”. Then click the “Create” button.

Then your project will be ready to start:
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Step 5:
Your solution “Homework” and Project “Hw1” are displayed in the Solution Explorer. Right-click “Source files,” select “Add”, then “New Item” to create source code.

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Step 6:
Under Visual C++, select “Code.” Then select “C++” File in the middle frame. Enter the name of your C++ source code file “HelloWorld.cpp” and press “Add.” This will create the source code file (a plain text file) inside your Project1 Project folder and integrate it into your program.

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Step 7:
Type your C++ code into the source editor and press CTRL-S to save.

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Step 8:
After editing the source code file, select the “Build” menu and then “Build Hw1” to compile your project. The compiler will translate your source code into a binary executable (.exe) file written in your machine’s native language. The file “Hw1.exe” will be created as a result.

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You will see the message “Build: 1 Succeeded” in the output window.

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Step 9:
To run program, select the Debug menu, followed by ”Start without debugging.”

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Step 10: The output console will pop up and display the message “Hello World!”

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Congratulations! You just completed your first C++ program!

You can find the solution (.sln) file in the solution directory “Z:\Visual Studio Projects\Homework\”

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You can find the source code HelloWorld.cpp in your Hw1 project subdirectory:

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The object (.obj file) is located in your Project “Hw1” subfolder called “Debug.”

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The standalone executable (.exe) file of your program is located in the “Debug” subfolder of your “Homework” solution folder.

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