Viewing Classes and Their Members

You can use Class View to display a hierarchy of symbols that represent the objects and members in an application. Class View contains two panes. The upper pane displays objects (for example, namespaces, types, interfaces, enums, and classes), and the lower pane displays the members (for example, properties, methods, events, variables, constants, and other contained items) of the object that is selected in the upper pane. For more information about the icons that appear in Class View, see Class View and Object Browser Icons.

In Class View, you can move to where a symbol is defined, referenced, or called. If a symbol is not defined in your projects, its declaration is displayed in the Object Browser.

To search on a symbol in Class View, right-click the symbol and then click Find All References. The search results are displayed in the Find Symbol Results window.

Adding Code Through Class View

When you right-click a project node in Class View, the shortcut menu that opens includes an Add submenu so that you can add code to the project. Depending on the development language and the project type, the submenu may include commands to insert classes, modules, interfaces, methods, variables, or events. For example, the Add submenu in Class View for an MFC project enables you to add a class or to add a resource.

Managing Projects in Class View

The Class View hierarchy of symbols in a project differs from the list of all available components in the Object Browser and from the physical, file-oriented view in Solution Explorer.

When you select a symbol in Class View, the corresponding project and file(s) are also selected in Solution Explorer. All of the commands that are available for the symbol in Solution Explorer are also available in Class View. For example, build commands such as Build, Rebuild, Deploy, and Project Dependencies are available. You can also specify a StartUp Project and initiate debugging in Class View.


You do not have to compile a project to view its symbols in Class View. As you modify the symbols for a project, Class View dynamically refreshes its symbol hierarchy.

If your project is stored under source code control, every Class View symbol displays a signal icon that indicates the status of the file where the symbol is defined. Common source code control commands such as Check Out, Check In, and Get Latest Version are also available on the shortcut menu for the symbol.

Class View

By using Class View, you can display a hierarchy of symbols for the objects and members in a project.

How to: Work with Class View

Teaches how to use Class View to interact with code and references.

How to: Work with Folders in Class View

Teaches how to assemble selected symbols so that you can access them outside of the standard hierarchical organization.

Adding Functionality with Code Wizards

Describes various Visual C++ wizards.

Building in Visual Studio

Provides information about how to build applications in Visual Studio.

How to: Prepare and Manage Builds

Provides information about how to organize solutions, projects, and files for full builds, partial builds, and rebuilds.

Debugging in Visual Studio

Provides information about how to locate programming errors and monitor application performance.

Object Browser

In the Object Browser, you can expand available objects to reveal ordered lists of members such as classes, properties, methods, events, constants, variables, and other items.

Change History




April 2011

Removed reference to .ncb file.

Content bug fix.