Building Win32 Applications Using Visual C++ 2005 Express

A number of people have asked about building Win32 applications using the Visual
C++ 2005 Express
beta. I'll take you through the basic steps here and I'll try to get
a more detailed page posted early this week.

Building Win32 applications with express is a three step process:

  1. Install the Platform SDK
  2. Set the paths for the bin, include, and lib folders.
  3. Add a few options to the linker dependencies in the
    corewin_express.vsprops file.

To install the Platform SDK, visit SDK Update and install the core components of the Platform SDK. Once that's accomplished, open the Visual C++ 2005 Express Edition IDE and open the Options dialog box. Navigate to Projects and Solutions and then Visual C++ Directories and add the following to the top of each the appropriate sections:

Executable Files: C:\Program Files\Microsoft SDK\bin

Include Files:  C:\Program Files\Microsoft SDK\include

Library Files: C:\Program Files\Microsoft SDK\lib

Once all that is done, you just need to take one more step to make the Win32
template work in express. You need to edit the corewin_express.vsprops file
(found in C:\Program Files\Microsoft Visual Studio 8\VC\VCProjectDefaults) and
change the string that reads:



AdditionalDependencies="kernel32.lib user32.lib gdi32.lib winspool.lib
comdlg32.lib advapi32.lib shell32.lib ole32.lib oleaut32.lib uuid.lib
odbc32.lib odbccp32.lib"

At this point you should be able to generate a Win32 application from the New
Project dialog box. If you have trouble with this, drop me a note at and I'll see if
I can make that clearer. After I test things out a bit, I'll add some
instructions for using the DirectX SDK with express.