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FIXME - A Smart FIXME Macro

, 25 May 2009
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Using this smart 'FIXME' macro will help you not to forget to fix your code.


If you are using Visual Studio, this FIXME macro will help you not to forget to fix your code before you release it. During debug build, this macro will be ignored; during release build, you will get an error message which will point to the code you need to fix. You can use this macro to remind you, for example, to update the version string, or to fix some debug code which should not be part of the release build.


#include "stdafx.h"
#include <windows.h>

FIXME //update version string before release
int _tmain(int argc, _TCHAR* argv[])
  printf("password is *bill*\n");
  return 0;

The above code will produce the following output during release build:

1>.\test.cpp(4) : error C666: found FIXME in release build!
1>.\test.cpp(8) : error C666: found FIXME in release build!
1>pragmatest - 2 errors, 0 warnings
========== Build: 0 succeeded or up-to-date, 1 failed, 0 skipped ==========

You can click on the error message to jump directly to the FIXME keyword.

How It Works

Put the following code into stdafx.h:

#define __STR2__(x) #x
#define __STR1__(x) __STR2__(x)
#define __LOC2__ __FILE__ "("__STR1__(__LINE__)") : "

#ifdef NDEBUG
  #define FIXME __pragma(message(__LOC2__ "error C666: found FIXME in release build!"))
  #define FIXME

The FIXME macro is defined depending on if you make a debug or release build. On debug build, #define FIXME is used, which does nothing. On release build, pragma(message(__LOC2__ "error C666: found FIXME in release build!")) is set. It will display the file and the line number of the FIXME macro in the output window. The trick to display a clickable error message is from the Message with style article.


  • 21st May, 2009: Initial post
  • 22nd May, 2009: Minor update


This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The Code Project Open License (CPOL)

About the Author

Jochen Baier

Germany Germany
No Biography provided

Comments and Discussions

GeneralAuthors Tip: exclude macro definition from Visual Studio text search PinmemberJochen Baier1-Nov-09 6:27 
GeneralTip: This can be useful for a lot more than just pragmas PinmemberMember 44627649-Jun-09 22:27 
GeneralTip Pinmemberalex__b5-Jun-09 5:29 
GeneralNot working PinmemberDaTxomin24-May-09 17:07 
GeneralRe: Not working PinmemberJochen Baier24-May-09 23:05 
GeneralRe: Not working PinmemberDaTxomin25-May-09 0:56 
GeneralRe: Not working PinmemberDaTxomin25-May-09 1:22 
GeneralRe: Not working PinmemberJochen Baier7-Jun-09 6:23 
GeneralRe: Not working Pinmembernenfa2-Aug-10 2:52 
QuestionVery nice, but could it be enhanced? PinmemberWilli Deutschmann22-May-09 11:29 

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