You can use clang-tidy in visual studio now apparently. I really don’t like the cmake setting json they have, so I don’t want to use that to use clang-tidy, I prefer the old fashioned way. Would be nice if cmake would apply CMAKE_CXX_CLANG_TIDY to visual studio project generation.

Switching to clang-tidy for code analysis adds something like this to a vcxproj

  <PropertyGroup Condition="'$(Configuration)|$(Platform)'=='Debug|x64'">

CMAKE_CXX_CLANG_TIDY takes the path to the clang-tidy tool and optionally arguments for it. That is too low-level to map directly to the .vcxproj settings you describe. We’ll likely need some higher-level interface for it.

You can insert that code snippet into your visual studio project by daisy chaining the user properties file (can be changed with a target property)

I agree I also didn’t want to use CMakeSettings.json
So I figured this out.

set_target_properties(foo PROPERTIES
    VS_GLOBAL_RunCodeAnalysis true

    # Use visual studio core guidelines
    VS_GLOBAL_EnableMicrosoftCodeAnalysis true
    VS_GLOBAL_CodeAnalysisRuleSet ${CMAKE_CURRENT_SOURCE_DIR}/foo.ruleset
    VS_GLOBAL_CodeAnalysisRuleSet ${CMAKE_CURRENT_SOURCE_DIR}/foo.ruleset

    # Use clangtidy
    VS_GLOBAL_EnableClangTidyCodeAnalysis true
    VS_GLOBAL_ClangTidyChecks -checks=-*,modernize-*,-modernize-use-trailing-return-type
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This has worked fine for me. Only complaint is it could potentially break.

Also MicrosoftCodeAnalysis is slow.

That worked! thanks.

Di you know if VS can use the external clang-tidy control file (.clang-tidy) which allows better control?

VS can use a .clang-tidy file according to the ms-docs (

Clang-Tidy configuration

You can configure the checks that clang-tidy runs inside Visual Studio via the Clang-Tidy Checks option. 
This input is provided to the --checks argument of the tool. 
Any further configuration can be included in custom .clang-tidy files. 
For more information, see the Clang-Tidy documentation on

Ok, I also tested it in my project but I did not have clang-tidy installed with Visual Studio. Instead, I added another property VS_GLOBAL_ClangTidyToolExe and set it to “${CLANG_TIDY_EXECUTABLE}” which I previously searched with find_program. I make it easier for my users by searching in the default install location of LLVM windows installer:
ENV ProgramFiles
ENV ProgramFiles(x86
with PATH_SUFFIXES set to LLVM/bin.
This way, users/developers only have to flip a switch instead of lots of typing.

Thanks for the inspiration.

On trying it out:
Hell, this is slow! I like the direct integration into the editor like in QtCreator much better. Additionally, aborting a build does not abort the clang-tidy program.

It is crazy slow. I went ahead and turned off VS_GLOBAL_RunCodeAnalysis in my project. I also left VS_GLOBAL_EnableMicrosoftCodeAnalysis off, so clang tidy only. I’ll just run it once in a while manually. With the rest of the settings, “Analyze->Run code Analysis” runs clang-tidy manually. Once I have continuous integration going on this project, I’ll set it up to run there too. But too slow to run on a normal local build.