C++ – How to get console output in C++ with a Windows program


If I have a native C++ windows program (i.e. the entry point is WinMain) how do I view output from console functions like std::cout?

Best Solution

Check out Adding Console I/O to a Win32 GUI App. This may help you do what you want.

If you don't have, or can't modify the code, try the suggestions found here to redirect console output to a file.

Edit: bit of thread necromancy here. I first answered this 9ish years ago, in the early days of SO, before the (good) policy of non-link-only answers came into effect. I'll repost the code from the original article in the hope to atone for my past sins.

guicon.cpp -- A console redirection function

#include <windows.h>
#include <stdio.h>
#include <fcntl.h>
#include <io.h>
#include <iostream>
#include <fstream>
using namespace std;
// maximum mumber of lines the output console should have
static const WORD MAX_CONSOLE_LINES = 500;
#ifdef _DEBUG
void RedirectIOToConsole()
    int hConHandle;
    long lStdHandle;
    FILE *fp;

    // allocate a console for this app

    // set the screen buffer to be big enough to let us scroll text
    GetConsoleScreenBufferInfo(GetStdHandle(STD_OUTPUT_HANDLE), &coninfo);
    coninfo.dwSize.Y = MAX_CONSOLE_LINES;
    SetConsoleScreenBufferSize(GetStdHandle(STD_OUTPUT_HANDLE), coninfo.dwSize);

    // redirect unbuffered STDOUT to the console
    lStdHandle = (long)GetStdHandle(STD_OUTPUT_HANDLE);
    hConHandle = _open_osfhandle(lStdHandle, _O_TEXT);
    fp = _fdopen( hConHandle, "w" );
    *stdout = *fp;
    setvbuf( stdout, NULL, _IONBF, 0 );

    // redirect unbuffered STDIN to the console
    lStdHandle = (long)GetStdHandle(STD_INPUT_HANDLE);
    hConHandle = _open_osfhandle(lStdHandle, _O_TEXT);
    fp = _fdopen( hConHandle, "r" );
    *stdin = *fp;
    setvbuf( stdin, NULL, _IONBF, 0 );

    // redirect unbuffered STDERR to the console
    lStdHandle = (long)GetStdHandle(STD_ERROR_HANDLE);
    hConHandle = _open_osfhandle(lStdHandle, _O_TEXT);
    fp = _fdopen( hConHandle, "w" );
    *stderr = *fp;
    setvbuf( stderr, NULL, _IONBF, 0 );

    // make cout, wcout, cin, wcin, wcerr, cerr, wclog and clog
    // point to console as well

//End of File

guicon.h -- Interface to console redirection function

#ifndef __GUICON_H__
#define __GUICON_H__
#ifdef _DEBUG

void RedirectIOToConsole();


// End of File

test.cpp -- Demonstrating console redirection

#include <windows.h>
#include <iostream>
#include <fstream>
#include <conio.h>
#include <stdio.h>
using namespace std;
#include "guicon.h"

#include <crtdbg.h>

int APIENTRY WinMain(HINSTANCE hInstance, HINSTANCE hPrevInstance, LPTSTR lpCmdLine, int nCmdShow)
    #ifdef _DEBUG
    int iVar;

    // test stdio
    fprintf(stdout, "Test output to stdout\n");
    fprintf(stderr, "Test output to stderr\n");
    fprintf(stdout, "Enter an integer to test stdin: ");
    scanf("%d", &iVar);
    printf("You entered %d\n", iVar);

    //test iostreams
    cout << "Test output to cout" << endl;
    cerr << "Test output to cerr" << endl;
    clog << "Test output to clog" << endl;
    cout << "Enter an integer to test cin: ";
    cin >> iVar;
    cout << "You entered " << iVar << endl;
    #ifndef _USE_OLD_IOSTREAMS

    // test wide iostreams
    wcout << L"Test output to wcout" << endl;
    wcerr << L"Test output to wcerr" << endl;
    wclog << L"Test output to wclog" << endl;
    wcout << L"Enter an integer to test wcin: ";
    wcin >> iVar;
    wcout << L"You entered " << iVar << endl;

    // test CrtDbg output
    _CrtSetReportMode( _CRT_ASSERT, _CRTDBG_MODE_FILE );
    _CrtSetReportFile( _CRT_ASSERT, _CRTDBG_FILE_STDERR );
    _CrtSetReportMode( _CRT_ERROR, _CRTDBG_MODE_FILE );
    _CrtSetReportFile( _CRT_ERROR, _CRTDBG_FILE_STDERR);
    _CrtSetReportMode( _CRT_WARN, _CRTDBG_MODE_FILE );
    _CrtSetReportFile( _CRT_WARN, _CRTDBG_FILE_STDERR);
    _RPT0(_CRT_WARN, "This is testing _CRT_WARN output\n");
    _RPT0(_CRT_ERROR, "This is testing _CRT_ERROR output\n");
    _ASSERT( 0 && "testing _ASSERT" );
    _ASSERTE( 0 && "testing _ASSERTE" );
    return 0;

//End of File