Variable expansion

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Syntax

Code::Blocks treats the following functionally identical character sequences inside pre-build, post-build, or build steps as variables:

  • $VARIABLE
  • $(VARIABLE)
  • ${VARIABLE}
  • %VARIABLE%

Variable names must consist of alphanumeric characters and are not case-sensitive. Variables starting with a single hash sign (#) are interpreted as global compiler variables. The names listed below are interpreted as builtin types.

Variables which are neither global user variables nor builtin types are replaced with a value provided in the project file, or with an environment variable if the latter should fail.

Per-target definitions have precedence over per-project definitions.

Buildin variable expansion is much like pre-defined macro expansion in C preprocessor as it will be text replaced when processed.

List of available builtins

Code::Blocks workspace

$(WORKSPACE_FILENAME), $(WORKSPACE_FILE_NAME), $(WORKSPACEFILE), $(WORKSPACEFILENAME)

The filename of the current workspace project (.workspace).

$(WORKSPACENAME), $(WORKSPACE_NAME)

The name of the workspace that is displayed in the tab Projects of the Management panel.

$(WORKSPACE_DIR), $(WORKSPACE_DIRECTORY), $(WORKSPACEDIR), $(WORKSPACEDIRECTORY)

The location of the workspace directory.

Files and directories

$(PROJECT_FILENAME), $(PROJECT_FILE), $(PROJECTFILE), $(PROJECTFILENAME), $(PROJECT_FILE_NAME)

The filename of the currently compiling project.

$(PROJECT_NAME), $(PROJECTNAME)

The name of the currently compiling project.

$(PROJECT_DIR), $(PROJECTDIR), $(PROJECT_DIRECTORY), $(PROJECTDIRECTORY)

The common directory of the currently compiling project.

$(PROJECTTOPDIR), $(PROJECT_TOPDIR), $(PROJECTTOPDIRECTORY), $(PROJECT_TOPDIRECTORY)

The common top-directory of the currently compiling project.

$(ACTIVE_EDITOR_FILENAME)

The filename of the file opened in the currently active editor.

$(ACTIVE_EDITOR_LINE)

Return the current line in the active editor.

$(ACTIVE_EDITOR_COLUMN)

Return the column of the current line in the active editor.

$(ACTIVE_EDITOR_DIRNAME)

Currently active file's containing directory (relative to the common top level path)

$(ACTIVE_EDITOR_STEM)

Currently active file's base name (without extension).

$(ACTIVE_EDITOR_EXT)

Currently active file's extension.

$(ACTIVE_EDITOR_SELECTION)

Currently selected text from active editor.

$(ALL_PROJECT_FILES)

A string containing the names of all files in the current project.

$(MAKEFILE)

The filename of the makefile.

$(CODEBLOCKS), $(APP_PATH), $(APPPATH), $(APP-PATH)

The path to the currently running instance of Code::Blocks

$(DATAPATH), $(DATA_PATH), $(DATA-PATH)

The 'shared' directory of the currently running instance of Code::Blocks

$(PLUGINS)

The 'plugins' directory of the currently running instance of Code::Blocks

$(TARGET_COMPILER_DIR)

The compiler installation directory so-called master path.

Build targets

replace FOOBAR with the target name

$(FOOBAR_OUTPUT_FILE)

A specific target's output file.

$(FOOBAR_OUTPUT_DIR)

A specific target's output directory.

$(FOOBAR_OUTPUT_BASENAME)

A specific target's output file's base name (no path, no extension).

$(FOOBAR_PARAMETERS)

A specific target's execution parameters

$(TARGET_OUTPUT_DIR)

The current target's output directory.

$(TARGET_OBJECT_DIR)

The current target's object directory.

$(TARGET_NAME)

The current target's name.

$(TARGET_OUTPUT_FILE)

The current target's output file.

$(TARGET_OUTPUT_FILENAME)

The current target's output filename.

$(TARGET_OUTPUT_BASENAME)

The current target's output file's base name (no path, no extension).

$(TARGET_CC), $(TARGET_CPP), $(TARGET_LD), $(TARGET_LIB)

The current target's build tool executable (compiler, linker, etc).

$(TARGET_COMPILER_DIR)

The current target's build tool directory (compiler, linker, etc).

Language and encoding

$(LANGUAGE)

The system language in human readable form.

$(ENCODING)

The character encoding in human readable form.

Time and date

$(TDAY)

Current date in the form YYYYMMDD (for example 20051228)

$(TODAY)

Current date in the form YYYY-MM-DD (for example 2005-12-28)

$(NOW)

Timestamp in the form YYYY-MM-DD-hh.mm (for example 2005-12-28-07.15)

$(NOW_L)

Timestamp in the form YYYY-MM-DD-hh.mm.ss (for example 2005-12-28-07.15.45)

$(WEEKDAY)

Human-readable day of the week (for example "Wednesday")

$(TDAY_UTC), $(TODAY_UTC), $(NOW_UTC), $(NOW_L_UTC), $(WEEKDAY_UTC)

These are identical to the preceding types, but are expressed relative to UTC.

$(DAYCOUNT)

The number of the days passed since an arbitrarily chosen day zero (January 1, 2010). Useful as last component of a version/build number.

Random values

$(COIN)

This variable tosses a virtual coin (once per invokation) and returns 0 or 1.

$(RANDOM)

A 16bit positive random number (0-65535)

Standard path

$(GET_DATA_DIR)

Unix: prefix/share/appname Windows: EXE path

$(GET_LOCAL_DATA_DIR)

Unix: /etc/appname Windows: EXE path

$(GET_DOCUMENTS_DIR)

Unix: ~ Windows: C:\Documents and Settings\username\Documents

$(GET_CONFIG_DIR)

Unix: /etc Windows: C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data

$(GET_USER_CONFIG_DIR)

Unix: ~ Windows: C:\Documents and Settings\username\Application Data\appname

$(GET_USER_DATA_DIR)

Unix: ~/.appname Windows: C:\Documents and Settings\username\Application Data

$(GET_USER_LOCAL_DATA_DIR)

Unix: ~/.appname Windows: C:\Documents and Settings\username\Local Settings\Application Data\appname

$(GET_TEMP_DIR)

ALL platforms: A writable, temporary directory

Build in functions for path conversion

There are build in macro functions to simplify path generation


$TO_UNIX_PATH{}

convert path to unix path (use '/' as separator)

$TO_WINDOWS_PATH{}

convert path to windows (use '\' as separator)

$TO_NATIVE_PATH{}

convert to native path form the codeblocks instance is running on


Usage

$TO_UNIX_PATH{$(TARGET_OUTPUT_FILE)}

returns the current target output file as unix path


Conditional Evaluation

$if(condition){true clause}{false clause}

Conditional evaluation will resolve to its true clause if
condition is a non-empty character sequence other than 0 or false
condition is a non-empty variable that does not resolve to 0 or false
condition is a variable that evaluates to true (implicit by previous condition)
Conditional evaluation will resolve to its false clause if
condition is empty
condition is 0 or false
condition is a variable that is empty or evaluates to 0 or false

Please do note that neither the variable syntax variants %if(...) nor $(if)(...) are supported for this construct.

Script expansion

For maximum flexibility, you can embed scripts using the [[ ]] operator as a special case of variable expansion. Embedded scripts have access to all standard functionality available to scrips and work pretty much like bash backticks (except for having access to Code::Blocks' namespace). As such, scripts are not limited to producing text output, but can also manipulate Code::Blocks state (projects, targets, etc.). Although this is technically possible, it is generally bad design and a very stupid idea to do so. Manipulating Code::Blocks state from a pre-build script is a much better solution.
The script text is replaced with any output generated by your script, or discarded in case of a syntax error.
As conditional evaluation runs prior to expanding scripts, conditional evaluation can be used for preprocessor functionality. Builtin variables (and user variables) are expanded after scripts, so it is possible to reference variables in a script's output.
Example:
[[ print(GetProjectManager().GetActiveProject().GetTitle()); ]]
inserts the active project's title into the command line.