Ordering output of out of order builds in Visual Studio

So what is an out of order build?

If you’ve got a multi-core processor then your compilation process will be distributed between these processors. One project will be built on one core while another one on a different core. Then all of these obj file will be gathered together during linking.

But one problem is that the output will look mangled, see this output…

Out of order builds

Out of order builds

The numbers on the left 3>, 4> uniquely identify a particular project being compiled. I’ve got two cores so effectively two projects can be compiled in parallel. But this is a mess particularly if you’ve got too many project’s you’ll have a hard time find out related projects, you’ll get tired of scrolling up and down. 🙂

But there is a way to overcome this, at the top of the output window (see above shot) there is a combo “Show output from:”. Change this to “Build Order” from “Build”, now this is how the output will look…

Build output ordered

Build output ordered

Just to be complete; you can enable out of order builds via…

Tools->Options->Projects and Solutions->Build and Run->Maximum number of parallel project builds.

Here is a screenshot of this dialog.

Enable Out Of Order Builds

Enable Out Of Order Builds

So enjoy working in this great IDE (well) ;).

2 thoughts on “Ordering output of out of order builds in Visual Studio

  1. Hi,
    It is nice feature, but I have two questions:

    1. How to make Build Order the default way to show the output
    2. How to switch the order when I execute command line build


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