13.2 Via file syntax rules

Via files must conform to some 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:
    --c90
    --strict
    
    This 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.
    Use quotation marks 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)
    Use apostrophes to delimit words that contain quotes, for example:
    -DNAME='"ARM Compiler"' (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:
    -I"C:\Project\includes"
    This is treated as the single word:
    -IC:\Project\includes
  • Lines beginning with a semicolon (;) or a hash (#) character as the first nonwhitespace character are comment lines. A semicolon or hash character that appears anywhere else in a line 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:
    -c -DFOO_VALUE='"FOO_VALUE"'
    
Related concepts
13.1 Overview of via files
Related reference
7.170 --via=filename
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