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Using the Backslash ("\") Character in NMAKE

This article was previously published under Q43064
Retired KB Content Disclaimer
This article was written about products for which Microsoft no longer offers support. Therefore, this article is offered "as is" and will no longer be updated.
SUMMARY
In NMAKE, the backslash "\" character has two different meaningsdepending on the context in which it is used. It can be used as a line-continuation character or as a path specifier.
MORE INFORMATION
The backslash is used primarily as a line-continuation character. Forexample, if a dependency line in your makefile extends to more thanone line, use the backslash to continue it to the next line. You canplace a space prior to the backslash or append it directly to the lastdependent file, as the following examples demonstrate:

TARGET1: obj1 obj2 obj3 obj4 obj5 \
obj6 obj7

TARGET2: obj1 obj2 obj3 obj4 obj5\
obj6 obj7

NMAKE also uses the backslash as a path specifier. When a backslash isthe last character on a line and is used as a path specifier, place acaret "^" character before the backslash to override its default useas a line-continuation character.

The following macro definition demonstrates using the backslash as apath specifier.
exe_dir = c:\bin^\ 				
In the following case, NMAKE interprets the trailing backslash as aline-continuation character which is contrary to the meaning thecontext requires:
exe_dir = c:\bin\ 				
In a macro, specifying two backslashes in succession ("\\") nullifiesits use as a line-continuation character. However, when NMAKE expandsthe macro, both backslash characters appear and an incorrect pathresults.
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Article ID: 43064 - Last Review: 12/01/2003 16:01:28 - Revision: 2.0

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