Check Debug Mode versus Release Mode

You can compile projects in two modes—Debug and Release. Debug mode inserts debug symbols into the resulting executable code, and the Release version does not. The easiest way to control the project compilation mode is through the configuration drop-down list on the main toolbar (see Figure 9.1).

Figure 9.1: Select the project compilation mode from the toolbar

Make sure the drop-down selection reads Debug before you run the project; otherwise, your application won't recognize any breakpoints you may have set. You should use Release mode only after you're finished debugging—but you should compile the application in Release mode before you deliver a program, because it runs significantly faster and creates smaller code than the Debug setting.

The toolbar drop-down affects only the active project. When you have multiple projects loaded, you can control the project compilation mode individually for each project through the Configuration Manager dialog. You can reach the dialog from the drop-down—select the Configuration Manager item from the list—or by right-clicking the Solution item in the Solution Explorer pane and selecting Configuration Manager from the context menu. The Configuration Manager lists each project in the current solution in a grid (see Figure 9.2).

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Figure 9.2: The Configuration Manager dialog

You can also reach the Configuration Manager by right-clicking the Solution item in the Solution Explorer pane and selecting Properties from the context menu to display the Solution Property Pages dialog. Click the Configuration Properties item in the list portion of the dialog. The Configuration Manager appears in the right pane when you access it in this manner (see Figure 9.3).

Figure 9.3: The Configuration Properties dialog

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