Windows Image Acquisition User Interface

The Windows Image Acquisition (WIA) User Interface component provides both an application programming interface (API) and a device driver interface (DDI). It supports still digital cameras and scanners. It also allows the retrieval of still images from IEEE 1394-based digital video (DV) camcorders and universal serial bus-based (USB) Web cameras. There are two WIA components: WIA_Core and WIA_UI.

The WIA_UI component includes user interface (UI) wizards for interfacing with scanners and still digital cameras: Explorer UI components, common dialogs, and a photo-printing wizard.

The still camera dialog allows the user to view thumbnails, preview full-sized pictures, view picture information and delete pictures. The scanner and camera wizards allow users to easily retrieve images from all supported devices. Depending on the device type, the wizard presents the user with device-specific features.

WIA includes a scripting model, which presents most WIA device features to a scripting based application.

An application writer has the following four choices for communicating with WIA devices:

  • Use the WIA high-level interfaces, which are tied to the WIA common dialogs. This provides a minimal-effort approach.
  • Program directly to the WIA interfaces. This adds flexibility to implement custom solutions and UI-less mode support for devices.
  • Use the TWAIN compatibility layer, which exposes WIA devices as TWAIN devices. The compatibility layer is limited to UI-mode only and single-image transfer.
  • Support the common file open and file insert dialog. This dialog is not supported for scanners, and it is only supported with video cameras after frames have been captured.
  • Other imaging features associated with WIA include My Pictures Folder and My Pictures Screensaver.


There are no services for this component.

Associated Components

No other components interact with this component.


There are no configurable settings for this component.

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