A simple Fortran project
In order to get started we shall create a new project
containing a very simple Fortran program. Select
New and then
Project from the main
FTN95 Projects from the Project Types.
We shall call the project Project1. Choose a Location (that is a
folder) for the project. Click on the
OK button to create the project.
A new project is created which initially contains one file called
FreeFormat1.f95. If you wish you can change the name of the file in the
Solution Explorer window but we shall use the default name. To add other files
to the project, in the Solution Explorer window, use the right mouse
button to click on the Project1 item and then select
Item from the resulting popup menu.
Build menu item in this popup menu
that we shall use in a moment. Note also the item in the tree called
References. This is used to provide
references to additional libraries and DLLs when they are needed in the linking
process. Further information can be found in the Visual Studio help contents
and index. Select the type of the source file in the resulting dialog box
and click on
Open to create the file and to add it
to the project.
Open FreeFormat1.f95, delete the default text and type in a simple program.
Now click on
Build in the Solution Explorer popup
menu (see above). The program is automatically compiled and linked and any
error messages are reported in the Output window. After a successful build you
can run the program by selecting
Start without debugging from the main
Debug menu (Ctrl+F5).
Tracking compilation error messages
If your program contains compilation errors, these appear as a
Task list in the Output dialog. Double
click on the build icon or the red exclamation icon in order to go to the error
in the client area.
Changing between modes
When a project is created it is automatically set to be a .NET application in
Debug mode. In order to change the mode, select an item from the Solutions
Configurations drop-down list on the main toolbar.
Configuration Manager from this list.
Choose a mode using the box at the top entitled
Active Solution Configuration. Click
on the arrow icon and select a mode from the drop down list. Release mode can
be selected when a solution is ready for use/shipping. The debug and Checkmate
modes plant debugging code that allows you to step into the code using the
integrated debugger. The Checkmate mode is recommended for
The default configuration at project level reflects the Active Solution
Configuration and should be left unchanged.
Note that you can also change from .NET to Win32. Most of the features of Visual
Studio can be used to create Win32 as well as .NET applications and DLLs. You
can even use ClearWin+ together with the Visual Studio image and dialog editors
if you wish. The main difference is that, when the mode is set to Win32, a
choice of debuggers is available. Win32 applications can be debugged
using an integrated Visual Studio debugger or SDBG.
Using the debugger
The simplest way to get started using the FTN95 for .NET debugger is to set the
cursor on a line in the program, click on the right mouse button and select
Run to Cursor from the popup menu.
If you wait a few moments without touching anything you will get the following
Now press F10 to step over a line at a time viewing the changes to local
variables as you proceed.
In addition to the display in the
Locals window, you can also view the
value of a variable by allowing the mouse cursor to hover over a point where
the variable is used in the program. This causes a tooltip popup window to
appear. This contains the value of the variable.
Another method is to click on the
Watch 1 window and then click on the
first cell in the
Name column. Now type in the name of a
variable you want to watch. The Quick Watch window is also useful. Select
Quick Watch from the popup menu or
from the main
Debug menu. A Watch window is
particularly useful when tracking non-local variables.
The call stack can be viewed from the Output dialog.
Once you are familiar with these basic methods, you can begin to experiment by
setting break points and stepping into and out of procedures.
Changing the compiler options
So far we have used the default compiler command line options based on
Checkmate. Options for a project can be changed from the
Project Properties dialog. Click with
the right mouse button on the Project1 item in the Solution Explorer window.
This displays the Project Properties dialog that contains a section like that
shown below. Change the entries in this dialog in order to configure the
project as a whole.
The Output File Type is one of EXE,
DLL and MDL.
When using Visual Studio 2005, Visual Studio 2008 or Visual Studio 2010, an
option is present to select the .NET Framework version to target. 4.0 and
2.0 are available.
The linker options can also be changed from this dialog box. To do this select
Linker Options from the tree on the
left hand side (see Using the
linker in Visual Studio).
When your project contains a number of files, you can set different command line
options for a particular file by using the
File Properties window as follows.
Click with the left mouse button on the file freeformat1.f95 in the Solution
Explorer window (or use the right mouse button and select Properties from the
popup menu). Now look at the Properties dialog that normally appears below the
Solution Explorer dialog. If the Properties Window is not visible, select
Properties Window from the main
CustomCompilerOptions line, click on
Off and the resulting arrow icon in
order to view the options to
Append to or
Override the global project options.
Now type in the options in the box labeled
CustomSwitches. For example, if the
project is set to debug rather than Checkmate mode then a particular file might
be set to Checkmate using this option.
For further information see Changing
compiler options from Visual Studio.