DLL References in Visual C++


I have had C++ experience but not MSVC.

What I am trying to do is incorporate a .dll from an open source project into my project. The code is available and I have built it. I have the .dll as well as the .lib which as I understand it is required for C++ projects.

Now unfortunately there is no simple "Add Reference", drop my .dll into an include directory and add that to my solution. I have edited the project property pages, the C/C++ Additional Include Directories option as well as adding the .lib as an additional linker dependency. I have created an include directory for the dll and lib inside my solution tree.

My problem is when I try to include the header files from the documentation, VS output spits out error messages. Now I realize that I am using the dll/lib combo and that the .h files are not present in my solution so how do I add the proper includes? I am using QT toolkit also which is working but how I add the other header / dll from the open source library eludes me.

Can someone please point me in the right direction.

8/4/2016 5:45:51 AM

Accepted Answer

You need to do a couple of things to use the library:

  1. Make sure that you have both the *.lib and the *.dll from the library you want to use. If you don't have the *.lib, skip #2

  2. Put a reference to the *.lib in the project. Right click the project name in the Solution Explorer and then select Configuration Properties->Linker->Input and put the name of the lib in the Additional Dependencies property.

  3. You have to make sure that VS can find the lib you just added so you have to go to the Tools menu and select Options... Then under Projects and Solutions select VC++ Directories,edit Library Directory option. From within here you can set the directory that contains your new lib by selecting the 'Library Files' in the 'Show Directories For:' drop down box. Just add the path to your lib file in the list of directories. If you dont have a lib you can omit this, but while your here you will also need to set the directory which contains your header files as well under the 'Include Files'. Do it the same way you added the lib.

After doing this you should be good to go and can use your library. If you dont have a lib file you can still use the dll by importing it yourself. During your applications startup you can explicitly load the dll by calling LoadLibrary (see: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms684175(VS.85).aspx for more info)



Remember to use #include < Foo.h > as opposed to #include "foo.h". The former searches the include path. The latter uses the local project files.

8/3/2017 8:30:41 AM

The additional include directories are relative to the project dir. This is normally the dir where your project file, *.vcproj, is located. I guess that in your case you have to add just "include" to your include and library directories.

If you want to be sure what your project dir is, you can check the value of the $(ProjectDir) macro. To do that go to "C/C++ -> Additional Include Directories", press the "..." button and in the pop-up dialog press "Macros>>".

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