Navigation:  Commands and Procedures > Special Characters

Some characters within macro values and step fields have special meaning in Visual Build:

 • The percent sign character % is used around a macro name to indicate that macro's value should be expanded when the field is used (i.e., %DATETIME%).  To insert a literal percent character, type two percent characters %%.
 • Bracket characters [ and ] denote a script expression to be inserted into a field (i.e., [vbld_GetFileContents("c:\boot.ini")]).  To insert literal bracket characters into a field, type two bracket characters [[ or ]].

Notes:

 • The vbld_EscapeString system script function can be used to escape special characters in strings.
 • The order of processing is: First, macro references are expanded (recursively); then script expressions are evaluated, and this process is repeated until no macro references or script expressions remain.
 • To copy the current field's expanded value (with all macros expanded) to the clipboard, type Ctrl+M.  To copy with macros expanded and with script evaluated,  type Ctrl+Shift+M.
 • When copying and pasting text from/to step properties and macro values to/from other applications, escaped special characters can automatically be unescaped (undoubled) when copying and escaped (doubled) when pasting if the related option is enabled.  This can be useful, for instance, when copying regular expressions containing many bracket characters from another application.