cl.exe is a tool that controls the Microsoft C and C++ compilers and linker. cl.exe can be run only on operating systems that support Microsoft Visual Studio.
You can start this tool only from the Visual Studio command prompt. You cannot start it from a system command prompt or from File Explorer.
The compilers produce Common Object File Format (COFF) object (.obj) files. The linker produces executable (.exe) files or dynamic-link libraries (DLLs).
Note that all compiler options are case sensitive.
To compile without linking, use /c.
Finding an Option
To find a particular compiler option, see one of the following lists:
The topic for each compiler option discusses how it can be set in the development environment. For information on specifying options outside the development environment, see:
Related Build Tools
Use NMAKE to build your output file.
Use BSCMAKE to support class browsing.
Linker options also affect how your program is built.