Resource Files (C++)


This material applies to Windows desktop applications. For information about resources in Universal Windows Platform apps, see Defining App Resources.

For information on adding resources to managed projects, please see Resources in Desktop Apps in the .NET Framework Developer's Guide. For information on manually adding resource files to managed projects, accessing resources, displaying static resources, and assigning resource strings to properties, see Creating Resource Files for Desktop Apps. For information on globalization and localization of resources in managed apps, see Globalizing and Localizing .NET Framework Applications.

Since projects in .NET programming languages do not use resource script files, you must open your resources from Solution Explorer. You can use the Image editor and the Binary editor to work with resource files in managed projects. Any managed resources you want to edit must be linked resources. The Visual Studio resource editors do not support editing embedded resources.

The term "resource file" can refer to a number of file types, including:

  • The resource script (.rc) file of a program.

  • A resource template (.rct) file.

  • An individual resource existing as a stand-alone file, such as a bitmap, icon, or cursor file that is referred to from an .rc file.

  • A header file generated by the development environment, for example Resource.h, that is referred to from an .rc file.

Resources can also be found in other file types such as .exe, .dll, and .res files. You can work with resources and resource files from within your project and with those that are not part of your current project. You can also work with resource files that were not created in the development environment of Visual Studio. For example, you can:

  • Work with nested and conditionally included resource files.

  • Update existing resources or convert them to Visual C++ format.

  • Import or export graphic resources to or from your current resource file.

  • Include shared or read-only identifiers (symbols) that can't be modified by the development environment.

  • Include resources in your executable (.exe) file that don't require editing (or that you don't want to be edited) during your current project, such as resources that are shared between several projects.

  • Include resource types not supported by the development environment.

This section covers:



See Also

Resource Editors
Working with Resource Files
Menus and Other Resources