include_alias pragma

Specifies that when alias_filename is found in a #include directive, the compiler substitutes actual_filename in its place.


#pragma include_alias( "alias_filename" , "actual_filename" )
#pragma include_alias( <alias_filename> , <actual_filename> )


The include_alias pragma directive allows you to substitute files that have different names or paths for the file names included by source files. For example, some file systems allow longer header filenames than the 8.3 FAT file system limit. The compiler can't just truncate the longer names to 8.3, because the first eight characters of the longer header filenames may not be unique. Whenever the compiler sees the alias_filename string in a #include directive, it substitutes the name actual_filename instead. Then it loads the actual_filename header file. This pragma must appear before the corresponding #include directives. For example:

// First eight characters of these two files not unique.
#pragma include_alias( "AppleSystemHeaderQuickdraw.h", "quickdra.h" )
#pragma include_alias( "AppleSystemHeaderFruit.h", "fruit.h" )

#pragma include_alias( "GraphicsMenu.h", "gramenu.h" )

#include "AppleSystemHeaderQuickdraw.h"
#include "AppleSystemHeaderFruit.h"
#include "GraphicsMenu.h"

The alias to search for must match the specification exactly. The case, spelling, and the use of double quotation marks or angle brackets must all match. The include_alias pragma does simple string matching on the filenames. No other filename validation is performed. For example, given the following directives,

#pragma include_alias("mymath.h", "math.h")
#include "./mymath.h"
#include "sys/mymath.h"

no alias substitution is done, since the header file strings don't match exactly. Also, header filenames used as arguments to the /Yu and /Yc compiler options, or the hdrstop pragma, aren't substituted. For example, if your source file contains the following directive,

#include <AppleSystemHeaderStop.h>

the corresponding compiler option should be


You can use the include_alias pragma to map any header filename to another. For example:

#pragma include_alias( "api.h", "c:\version1.0\api.h" )
#pragma include_alias( <stdio.h>, <newstdio.h> )
#include "api.h"
#include <stdio.h>

Don't mix filenames enclosed in double quotation marks with filenames enclosed in angle brackets. For example, given the above two #pragma include_alias directives, the compiler does no substitution on the following #include directives:

#include <api.h>
#include "stdio.h"

Furthermore, the following directive generates an error:

#pragma include_alias(<header.h>, "header.h")  // Error

The filename reported in error messages, or as the value of the predefined __FILE__ macro, is the name of the file after the substitution is done. For example, see the output after the following directives:

#pragma include_alias( "VERYLONGFILENAME.H", "myfile.h" )

An error in VERYLONGFILENAME.H produces the following error message:

myfile.h(15) : error C2059 : syntax error

Also note that transitivity isn't supported. Given the following directives,

#pragma include_alias( "one.h", "two.h" )
#pragma include_alias( "two.h", "three.h" )
#include "one.h"

the compiler searches for the file two.h rather than three.h.

See also

Pragma directives and the __pragma and _Pragma keywords