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Via file syntax

Via files must conform to the following syntax rules:

  • A via file is a text file containing a sequence of words. Each word in the text file is converted into an argument string and passed to the tool.

  • Words are separated by whitespace, or the end of a line, except in delimited strings. For example:

    --c90 --strict (two words)

    --c90--strict (one word)

  • The end of a line is treated as whitespace. For example:


    is equivalent to:

    --c90 --strict

  • Strings enclosed in quotation marks ("), or apostrophes (') are treated as a single word. Within a quoted word, an apostrophe is treated as an ordinary character. Within an apostrophe delimited word, a quotation mark is treated as an ordinary character.

    Quotation marks are used to delimit filenames or path names that contain spaces. For example:

    -I C:\My Project\includes (three words) -I "C:\My Project\includes" (two words)

    Apostrophes can be used to delimit words that contain quotes. For example:

    -DNAME='"RealView Compilation Tools"' (one word)

  • Characters enclosed in parentheses are treated as a single word. For example:

    --option(x, y, z) (one word)

    --option (x, y, z) (two words)

  • Within quoted or apostrophe delimited strings, you can use a backslash (\) character to escape the quote, apostrophe, and backslash characters.

  • A word that occurs immediately next to a delimited word is treated as a single word. For example:


    is treated as the single word:


  • Lines beginning with a semicolon (;) or a hash (#) character as the first nonwhitespace character are comment lines. If a semicolon or hash character appears anywhere else in a line, it is not treated as the start of a comment. For example:

    -o objectname.axf      ;this is not a comment

    A comment ends at the end of a line, or at the end of the file. There are no multi-line comments, and there are no part-line comments.

  • Lines that include the preprocessor option -Dsymbol="value" must be delimited with a single quote, either as '-Dsymbol="value"' or as -Dsymbol='"value"'. For example: