VC++ Directories Property Page

Enables you to specify semicolon-delimited lists of directories that Visual Studio uses to build the current project. You access this property sheet by selecting Project | Properties and then expanding the Configuration Properties node in the left pane.


To see these options in Microsoft Visual C++ Express 2010, select Tools > Settings > Expert Settings.

Many directories in the list are given as macros. To see the current value of any macro, select a row, for example Include Directories, then click on the drop-down arrow on the right and choose <Edit>. In the dialog that pops up, click on the Macros button to see the current value.

For more information, see the following blog posts: VC++ Directories, Inherited Properties and Property Sheets and Visual Studio 2010 C++ Project Upgrade Guide.

Directory Types

You can specify the following directory types.

  • Executable Directories
    Directories to search for executable files. Corresponds to the PATH environment variable.

  • Include Directories
    Directories to search for include files that are referenced in the source code. Corresponds to the INCLUDE environment variable.

  • Reference Directories
    Directories to search for assembly and module (metadata) files that are referenced in the source code by the #using directive. Corresponds to the LIBPATH environment variable.

  • Library Directories
    Directories to search for libraries, (includes run-time libraries). Corresponds to the LIB environment variable. This setting does not apply to .obj files; to link to an .obj file, use the Additional Dependencies setting on the Linker Property Pages and specify the relative path to the file.

  • Source Directories
    Directories to search for source files to use for IntelliSense.

  • Exclude Directories
    Directories not to search when checking for build dependencies.

To specify a per-project directory list

  1. On the Project menu, click Properties. For more information, see How to: Open Project Property Pages.

  2. In the Property Pages dialog box, click Configuration Properties and then click VC++ Directories.

  3. To edit one of the directory lists, click its name, click the arrow that appears, and then click Edit to open a dialog box for the selected directory type.

    You can add or remove values, and you can reorder any values that have been added. You can also select or clear Inherit from parent or project defaults.


    By default, projects created by using Visual Studio inherit standard directory lists.


Use project property sheets to set up directory search paths for projects that can be shared by other users or that can be applied across multiple computers. For more information, see Property Sheets and MSBuild Macros (C++).

See Also


Property Pages (C++)