______   ___    ___
    /\  _  \ /\_ \  /\_ \
    \ \ \L\ \\//\ \ \//\ \      __     __   _ __   ___ 
     \ \  __ \ \ \ \  \ \ \   /'__`\ /'_ `\/\`'__\/ __`\
      \ \ \/\ \ \_\ \_ \_\ \_/\  __//\ \L\ \ \ \//\ \L\ \
       \ \_\ \_\/\____\/\____\ \____\ \____ \ \_\\ \____/
        \/_/\/_/\/____/\/____/\/____/\/___L\ \/_/ \/___/

                 MSVC-specific information.

         See readme.txt for a more general overview.

MSVC notes

Status: complete.

The screensaver example is built, but you must copy scrsave.scr to your windows/system directory (or winnt/system32 directory under Windows NT/2k/XP) if you want to test it.

You may also want to refer to one of the following, as they may include more up to date information:

Project Files

The CMake tool can generate workspaces for MSVC.

If everything builds successfully, you'll need to copy some files to finish the installation:

The most common location of Visual Studio is "C:\Program Files\Microsoft Visual Studio."

Then you can build the rest of the examples, demos, tests, and tools by opening up their respective project files and selectiong Batch Build from the menu.

Required software

Allegro should work with MSVC versions 6 and above. Lower versions may work but haven't been tested in a long time.

The DirectX SDK can be obtained directly from Microsoft. An old version of the headers is included with MSVC 6, but Allegro requires more recent files. You should either copy the current headers into your MSVC include and lib directories, or alter your INCLUDE and LIB environment variables to put the DirectX SDK files in front of the standard MSVC locations.

Microsoft Visual Studio Express Editions (free): You will need to separately download and install the "Platform SDK" or "Windows SDK". In the IDE, go to Tools > Options > Projects and Solutions > VC++ Directories and add the Platform SDK and DirectX Include and Lib/x86 (or whatever) directories to the relevant lists.

Installing Allegro

This is a source-only distribution, so you will have to compile Allegro before you can use it. Please follow the generic instructions in docs/build/cmake.txt.

If you need to call MSVC from the command line, you may need to set up your environment. You probably have a vcvars32.bat file that will do this for you (the exact location of this file depends on your MSVC version and folder where you have MSVC installed, e.g. for MSVC 6 it is usually C:\Program Files\Microsoft Visual Studio\VC98\Bin, for MSVC 8 C:\Program Files\Microsoft Visual Studio 8\VC\Bin etc.). You will have to run this file every time you open a DOS box or configure the environment variables in Control Panel/System/Environment (autoexec.bat for Win 9x/ME).

Using Allegro

All the Allegro functions, variables, and data structures are defined in allegro.h. You should include this in your programs, and link with one of the libraries:

      alleg.lib                  - optimised DLL import library
      alleg-debug.lib            - debugging DLL import library
      alleg-profile.lib          - profiling DLL import library
      alleg-static.lib           - statically linked optimised library
      alleg-debug-static.lib     - statically linked debugging library
      alleg-profile-static.lib   - statically linked profiling library
When using a statically linked library, you must define the preprocessor symbol ALLEGRO_STATICLINK before including any of the Allegro headers and link your program against Allegro and the main Win32/DirectX libraries in that order (see the variable LIBRARIES in makefile.vc). You have also to make sure that your program is linked against the right C run-time library, ie. the multi-threaded DLL version of MSVCRT (or the debug version if you are using the debug library). You can change this option at Project - Settings - C/C++ - Category: Code Generation - Use run-time library.

Don't forget that you need to use the END_OF_MAIN() macro right after your main() function!

If you use one of the DLL versions, you will obviously need to distribute the appropriate DLL along with your program.