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Setting Global C++ Include Paths in Visual Studio 2012 (and 2011, and 2010)

Posted by Hemprasad Y. Badgujar on May 14, 2014


Setting Global C++ Include Paths in Visual Studio 2012 (and 2011, and 2010)

Starting with Visual Studio 2010, Microsoft decided to make life hard on C++ developers.  System-wide include path settings used to be accessed through Tools | Options | Projects and Solutions | VC++ Directories.  However, that option is gone:

VS2012_ToolsOptionsDirectories

Instead, the system-wide include paths are now located within the ‘Properties’ interface.  To access it, select View | Property Manager.  No dialog will appear yet. Instead, the Property Manager appears as a tab along with the Solution Explorer:

VS2012_OptionsPropertyManager

Note:  The Property Manager won’t contain anything unless a solution is loaded.

Now, expand one of your projects, then expand Debug | Win32 or Release | Win32:

VS2012_PropertyPageProjectExpanded

Right click Microsoft.Cpp.Win32.user and select Properties:

VS2012_PropertyPageProjectExpandedMenu

This brings up the Microsoft.Cpp.Win32.User Property Pages dialog, which should look familiar enough:

VS2012_Win32UserPropertyPage

Alternate Access

The properties can be accessed directly as an XML file by editing%LOCALAPPDATA%\Microsoft\MSBuild\v4.0\Microsoft.Cpp.Win32.user.props

VS2012_Win32UserPropsXML

 

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