Start recording a macro for later invocation as a command:

macro(<name> [arg1 [arg2 [arg3 ...]]])

Define a macro named <name> that takes arguments named arg1, arg2, arg3, (...). Commands listed after macro, but before the matching endmacro(), are not invoked until the macro is invoked. When it is invoked, the commands recorded in the macro are first modified by replacing formal parameters (${arg1}) with the arguments passed, and then invoked as normal commands. In addition to referencing the formal parameters you can reference the values ${ARGC} which will be set to the number of arguments passed into the function as well as ${ARGV0}, ${ARGV1}, ${ARGV2}, ... which will have the actual values of the arguments passed in. This facilitates creating macros with optional arguments. Additionally ${ARGV} holds the list of all arguments given to the macro and ${ARGN} holds the list of arguments past the last expected argument. Referencing to ${ARGV#} arguments beyond ${ARGC} have undefined behavior. Checking that ${ARGC} is greater than # is the only way to ensure that ${ARGV#} was passed to the function as an extra argument.

See the cmake_policy() command documentation for the behavior of policies inside macros.

Macro Argument Caveats

Note that the parameters to a macro and values such as ARGN are not variables in the usual CMake sense. They are string replacements much like the C preprocessor would do with a macro. Therefore you will NOT be able to use commands like:

if(ARGV1) # ARGV1 is not a variable
if(DEFINED ARGV2) # ARGV2 is not a variable
if(ARGC GREATER 2) # ARGC is not a variable
foreach(loop_var IN LISTS ARGN) # ARGN is not a variable

In the first case, you can use if(${ARGV1}). In the second and third case, the proper way to check if an optional variable was passed to the macro is to use if(${ARGC} GREATER 2). In the last case, you can use foreach(loop_var ${ARGN}) but this will skip empty arguments. If you need to include them, you can use:

set(list_var "${ARGN}")
foreach(loop_var IN LISTS list_var)

Note that if you have a variable with the same name in the scope from which the macro is called, using unreferenced names will use the existing variable instead of the arguments. For example:

  foreach(arg IN LISTS ARGN)

  _bar(x y z)

_foo(a b c)

Will loop over a;b;c and not over x;y;z as one might be expecting. If you want true CMake variables and/or better CMake scope control you should look at the function command.