“Boost Your Coding Game with the Ultimate Guide to Mastering CMake in Microsoft Visual Studio!”

Introducing CMake

Are you tired of manually building software programs, applications and libraries? Look no further than CMake, the open-source build system that automates the build process! When used in conjunction with Visual Studio, CMake simplifies the build process and empowers developers to create complex build systems for a variety of platforms. Keep reading to learn how to master CMake in Visual Studio.

What is CMake?

CMake is a powerful tool that generates Makefiles or project files composed of a set of script files. The system reads configuration files and is capable of managing the build process using a compiler. It can be installed on Windows, Linux, and macOS making it extremely versatile for cross-platform development.

How to Install CMake?

Prior to utilizing CMake in Visual Studio, a proper installation is necessary. Follow these steps to seek success:

  1. Access the CMake website and select “Download”.
  2. Choose the version of CMake corresponding to your operating system.
  3. Run the downloaded executable file and follow the installation wizard.

Once the installation is complete, you may begin using CMake in Visual Studio.

How to Use CMake in Visual Studio?

Here are the step-by-step instructions to start utilizing CMake in Visual Studio:

  1. Open Visual Studio and create a new project.
  2. Click on “File”, then “New”, and finally “Project”.
  3. Select “C++” and choose “Windows Console Application”, then set a name for your project.
  4. Click “Create” to initiate the creation of the project.
  5. Select “File”, then “New”, and click “File”.
  6. Choose “CMake” and select “CMakeLists.txt”, providing a name.
  7. Add configuration to the “CMakeLists.txt” file for your project.
  8. Save the “CMakeLists.txt” file.
  9. Click on “File”, then “Open Folder”.
  10. Find your project folder and select it, then click “Select Folder”.
  11. Choose “Build” at the top of the window and then click “Configure CMake”.
  12. Select the project configuration that matches your project, for example, “Debug” or “Release”.
  13. Click “Generate”.
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A Quick Example

Consider the following basic CMakeLists.txt file as an example:

# Specify the minimum version of CMake required for the project
cmake_minimum_required(VERSION 3.10)

# Set the project name

# Add the executable
add_executable(my_project main.cpp)

The file above indicates a minimum CMake version of 3.10, sets the project name as “my_project”, and adds the executable “my_project” based on the file “main.cpp”.


CMake and Visual Studio are an incredibly powerful combination, capable of managing even the most intricate of build processes. With this comprehensive guide on how to use CMake in Visual Studio, you’ll be able to easily create projects, configure CMake, and generate the build files for all of your programming needs. So what are you waiting for? Start using CMake today!

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