Console Applications in Visual C++ 2010
These are the directions to create a console (or text or DOS) mode
Visual C++ 2010. The screenshots are from Visual C++ 2010 Express. However,
basically the same instructions apply for Visual Studio 2010, 2012 or 2013. These directions will work for your single file or multi-file
applications in CSIT
802, 832, 836, 839 and 840. These directions will not work for CSIT 861 because in
that class you will be creating Windows applications.
These steps use some terminology you may not have heard before:
Application - A synonym for a
program. Word, Excel, Internet Explorer and Doom all are
Extension - The part of the
file name after the period. For example, if you name a file
teacherhavemercy.doc, the file extension is doc. The file
extension usually indicates the application you use to open the
file. For example, a doc file usually is opened in Word, an
xls file in Excel, etc.
Source file - This is a file in
which you write C++ code. It has a .cpp extension, which
stands for C++.
Header file - This is another
file that contains C++ code. It has a .h extension, which
stands for header. Some header files already are written for you.
Others you may write in advanced classes such as CSIT 832, 836
and 840; you likely won't in CSIT 802.
Project - A container for the
source and header files you write.
- Solution - A container for one or more projects. In our
classes the solution almost always will contain only one project.
When so, there is no practical difference difference between a
solution and a project.
OK, enough terminology! Let's get started. Here's the process:
- Create the project
- Create a source file
- Write code
- Run your code
Creating the Project
Choose the File > New > Project
menu command. This displays the New Project dialog shown in
Figure 1. (Ignore the values in the
Name, Location and Solution fields; they will be set in steps 4 and 5.)
Figure 1 - New Project dialog
If you have Visual Studio 2010, the
left pane will list languages in addition to Visual C++, so you
should choose Visual C++. If you have Visual C++ 2010 Express, then
Visual C++ will be your only choice.
Choose Win32 Console
Application from the
right pane. WARNING:
Do not choose the similarly named Win32
Project or CLR Console Application. If you do, you'll have to start all over.
Location will default to your
My Documents\Visual Studio 2010\Projects subfolder. Usually
you should use that location. If you do need to change the location,
you can do so using the Browse button.
In Name, type the name you
choose for your project. This name also will be the Solution Name, and the name of the subfolder
(in the location specified in Location) created to store your
project files. Hint: Choose a logical name, such as 839A1
for the first assignment in CSIT 839.
Click the OK button. This will display
the Win32 Application Wizard shown in Figure 2.
Figure 2 - Win32 Application Wizard
click Finish. If you do you may have to
start over. Instead, click Application Settings on the
left. The appearance of the Win32 Application Wizard then
changes to that shown in Figure 3.
Figure 3 - Win32 Application Wizard after choosing Application Settings
under Application Type you choose Console
Application (that choice may already be the default).
Additional options, uncheck
Precompiled Header and check Empty Project. WARNING:
These are not the defaults
Additional options. Skipping
is a common mistake and may require you to start over.
Click the Finish button.
Visual C++ will now create your project. This may take a few
Choose the View >
Explorer menu command to display Solution Explorer, which is
shown in Figure 4.
Figure 4 - Solution Explorer
Create a Source File
You've now created a project. The next step is to write code. We'll
write that code in a source file. This file has a cpp
extension, which stands for C++. In the following steps, you
will create a source file, then add code to it.
So far the project is empty. To add a source (*.cpp) file,
choose the Project > Add New Item
This will display the Add New Item dialog shown in Figure 5. You
also can display the Add New Item dialog by right-clicking
Source Files in Solution Explorer to display the shortcut menu shown
in Figure 6, and then choosing Add > Add New Item
from the shortcut menu.
Figure 5- Add New Item dialog (Default View)
Figure 6 - Shortcut Menu for Source Files
Choose Code from the left.
pane Choose C++ File (.cpp) from the right
pane. Generally you will not
change the Location, which is the subfolder in which
the project files are stored. Type the name of the new
.cpp file in the Name box. I chose genghis.cpp. Then click
the Add button. Figure 7 shows the new genghis.cpp
file in Solution Explorer.
Figure 7 - Solution Explorer showing new .cpp file
Note: In advanced classes, you may need to add additional .cpp
files, or h files.
You add additional .cpp files following the above steps. You would add
.h files the same way except that in Step 2 you
would choose Header File (.h) instead of C++ File (.cpp).
Now that you have added the source file,
the next step is to write code in it. Double-click genghis.cpp
in Solution Explorer. That will display the file in code view, where you
can type code.
Figure 8 - Code View
The next step is to type code directly into
the source file. The following code is derived from the
Started handout for my CSIT 802 class, where students who want to
get on my good side write code to output, in Spanish, "Our teacher is
using namespace std;
int main ()
cout << "Nuestro maestro, el es la bestia!";
Here's the code in code view:
Figure 9 - Code
Choose File > Save All to save your work. Then compile
your program from the Build menu with the Build
> Compile menu command.
Figure 10 - Compile menu command
The Output window will display. If compilation was successful, the
message displayed will be: "Build: 1
succeeded, 0 failed, 0 up-to-date, 0 skipped."
Figure 11 - Output window showing successful compilation
If you do have compile errors, then you will need to
fix them. We will discuss that subject in class.
Run your Code
We're now ready to run your code. To do so,
choose the Debug > Start Without Debugging menu
command. (Note: Choose without, not with, debugging).
If you don't see that menu command, you can add it to the menu with the
Tools > Settings > Expert
Settings menu command.
When you choose the
choose the Debug > Start Without Debugging menu
command, you may see
a message that your project is out of date and asking if you want to
build it. If so, just press the
Figure 12 - Project out of date message
A console window will now display with the
Nuestro maestro, el es la bestia!
Figure 13 - Console window displaying code output
"Press any key to continue ..." is
generated by Visual C++, not your code. Its purpose is to have you press
a key to close the console window.
That's it! You've now created your
first Visual C++ console application!