Getting Started with a Visual Studio C++ 2013 IDE

Discussion in 'C++' started by W. eWatson, Feb 1, 2014.

  1. W. eWatson

    W. eWatson Guest

    I understand C++. What I'm looking for is how one operates the IDE
    provided in VS C++ Desktop. What programming I've done usually does not
    include a sophisticated IDE. I see FILE, EDIT,VIEW, DEBUG, etc. along
    the top of the IDE. I'd like more details on these items. I would
    suspect somewhere there's an explanation of them. Most manuals describe
    them in the first 10 pages. Does a tutorial or manual that explains them
    exist? It would be nice to see some examples of building a program and
    compiling libraries for it.

    BTW, I've spent a lot of time today Googling VS introductions to IDEs,
    but they never sync with the VS C++ 2013 product I have.
    W. eWatson, Feb 1, 2014
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  2. W. eWatson

    W. eWatson Guest

    Is there a NG for my question?

    Been at that link, but it didn't help. I think there are just too many
    variety of editions for Visual Studio.

    I just installed 2010, and see there's a video in it for Beginner
    Developers. Cleverly the title is for the 2008 Express Edition. A little
    examination here shows me this isn't going to help me. Sigh!
    W. eWatson, Feb 1, 2014
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  3. From VS 2005 to VS 2010 there are only minor differences regarding the user
    interface. Especially when it comes to the basic concepts. Most notable
    improvements in VS 2010 are IMO the much better intellisense (on-the-fly
    analysis for code completion, refactoring and navigation) and the profiler
    that is available not only in team edition.
    But for the first steps that probably not so relevant.

    Tobias Müller, Feb 1, 2014
  4. To answer a question in another post, no, there is no NG for it (not an
    active one anyway).

    I recommend getting a book. Something in line with "Visual Studio for
    Dummies". They are usually well written (not that I've read any, but I
    heard many people's praises) without condescension and full of easy
    explanations on how to accomplish some simple tasks, which should give
    the OP at least some handle on the product.

    As with any other complex tool, ease comes with practice. So, start by
    doing what the book says, and then try repeating those (usually simple)
    steps with some variations.

    Victor Bazarov, Feb 1, 2014
  5. There is an add-on utility I would recommend. It's called "Visual Assist X"
    and it's made by Whole Tomato ( It will augment your
    editing experience to provide many features that are natively lacking in the
    Visual Studio IDE environment.

    Best regards,
    Rick C. Hodgin
    Rick C. Hodgin, Feb 1, 2014
  6. W. eWatson

    W. eWatson Guest

    I drove down to my local Barnes and Noble bookstore this afternoon.
    It's45 miles from here. I found about six C++ books, They pretty much
    off handed remarked about the IDE. One was probably the Dummies (2010)
    book you mentioned. It briefly mentioned IDE. There are about 10
    versions of the Dummy books. Only two allow "Look Inside". Pretty
    limited in what they allow to be read.

    Well, I guess I just bounce around the IDE, and see if I can make any
    sense of it. That plus some googling.
    W. eWatson, Feb 2, 2014
  7. YouTube is a great resources. And it's (reasonably) free.

    Best regards,
    Rick C. Hodgin
    Rick C. Hodgin, Feb 2, 2014
  8. W. eWatson

    W. eWatson Guest

    Actually, I tried Google, but your remark prompted me to look again. I
    found several chapter like videos that were fairly OK. However, I
    happened on another such set by <>, which was quite good. When I
    went to their site, I found the chapters to be displayed better than on
    YouTube. Under Videos->C++ they had about 50 chapters. They had a 4-5
    directed at, loosely, IDE. They showed how to build and compile a single
    console program. That's fine, but only gives a glimpse of IDE. The
    others covered all sorts of programs, Simple Classes, Namespace
    essentials. I'll go back and probe them for their relevance to IDE. has lots of educational stuff on it. MIT Classical Mechanics.
    Stanford Particle Physics. It all seems to be free, and no mention is
    made of a sponsor. The Forum doesn't look like it is heavily used.
    W. eWatson, Feb 4, 2014
  9. W. eWatson

    Cholo Lennon Guest

    Cholo Lennon, Feb 4, 2014
  10. W. eWatson

    W. eWatson Guest

    Wholetomato looks good.
    W. eWatson, Feb 4, 2014
  11. Some of your new best friends:

    Alt+G -- Goto declaration or definition. Works with overloaded functions
    by name, and does not limit the scope by parameters.
    Alt+Shift+R -- Refactor the highlighted token (change its name system-wide)
    Alt+Shift+F -- Find the highlighted token

    Also, there are options to turn on highlighting (such as when you move onto
    a token it highlights other nearby instances to give you visual cues of
    where that token is referenced). Hovering over a token shows you the
    definition line and nearby comments, etc.

    It will change the way I looked at the Visual Studio IDE.

    Best regards,
    Rick C. Hodgin
    Rick C. Hodgin, Feb 4, 2014
  12. W. eWatson

    Jorgen Grahn Guest

    Mostly out of curiosity: do you really need to use this IDE? You
    don't seem very excited about it, and you seem comfortable with
    whatever tools you have today. That's not a good start. In fact,
    those are the reasons I've never used an IDE myself ...

    Jorgen Grahn, Feb 4, 2014
  13. I'm basically in the same situation.
    I downloaded the latest version of Visual Studio Express for my new Windows 8.1
    Start by creating an empty console project. Then create a C version of "hello world". Get that running, and it means that the compiler is basically set up.

    Then try allowing it to make the skeleton for you, still in a console project.
    You'll get lots of non-standard stuff, but nothing too awful. Write hello
    world out in Unicode. (In Hebrew it's "shalom liolam", shin-lamed-vav-mem
    space lamed-ayin-vav-lamed-mem, see if you can get it working in a non-Latin

    The try hello world in a window.

    Gradually build up, getting more familiar with the IDE as you add complexity.
    malcolm.mclean5, Feb 11, 2014
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