To compile individual files

Restriction: It is not possible to compile copybooks.

Files that are part of a project

To compile an individual COBOL file that is part of a native project:

  1. In Solution Explorer, right-click the file you want to compile.
  2. Click Compile.

    This option is not available when a build is already in progress or when you are debugging the application.

Standalone files

The information here only applies to native COBOL.

To compile a standalone COBOL file that is opened in the editor without a project:

  1. Open the file in the editor using File > Open > File.

    When the file is opened, the editor shows an information task bar prompting you to find the program symbols (.idy) file and to check the Compiler directives that will be used to compile the file. See Setting Compiler Directives on Individual Files for help with setting the directives.

  2. To compile either click Build with default directives or right-click in the editor, and then click Compile.

    You can cancel the compile process by right-clicking in the editor and clicking Cancel Compile.

    Compiling produces an .idy file that the IDE uses to provide some features in the editor such as colorization and navigation.

The recommended way to work with Visual COBOL is to include all source files in a project because this enables full support for the IDE editing, compiling and debugging features. To enable this support for standalone files, Visual COBOL provides a path for creating projects from them - right-click the file in the editor, and click Create COBOL Project.