Tools by Category (Compact 7)


The following resources are common tools for Windows Embedded Compact 7, categorized by the task you use them for. For additional information, see Tools.

When you write applications for a Windows Embedded Compact device, these are the tools that you use the most. For more information, see Application Development.

Tool Use

Expression Blend

Design a GUI for your application.

Windows Embedded Silverlight Tools

Convert a Silverlight project that you built in Expression Blend into a native (C++) Windows Embedded Compact application. For more information, including a complete walkthrough, visit Silverlight for Windows Embedded Application Development

Visual Studio

Create and build your native (C++) Windows Embedded Compact application. If you did not build your GUI by using XAML, you can work directly in Visual Studio without Expression Blend and Windows Embedded Silverlight Tools.

Application Compatibility Tool

Scan a .dll or.exe file for deprecated APIs.

Guidgen Tool

Create a new GUID.

Unldcmd Tool

Remove a program from a device.

Unload Tool

Remove an application from a device.

You build your OS by using either Platform Builder or command-line tools. For more information, see Build an OS.

Tool Use

Platform Builder User Interface

Build the source code using Platform Builder. For more information, see Build Menu Options.

Build Tool (Build.exe)

Build the source code in a directory and in specified subdirectories.

Cesysgen Batch File (Cesysgen.bat)

Specify which Windows Embedded Compact OS modules and functionality to install on the target device.

Debugging is an important part of developing your OS or application. For more information, see Debugging.

Tool Use

Readlog Tool

Convert the output from the kernel tracker from CeLog (.clg) format to text (.txt) format.

Viewbin Tool

Display information about a run-time image.

Compact Test Kit (CTK)

Test the functionality and performance of device drivers and related hardware for a Windows Embedded Compact powered device.

Power Toys for .NET Compact Framework 3.5

Evaluate performance, obtain diagnostic information, configure and work with the .NET Compact Framework. The most commonly used tools are Remote Performance Viewer, which provides real-time counter data on a running .NET Compact Framework application, and NETCF CLR Profiler, an instrumenting allocation profiler for .NET Compact Framework applications.

After you build your OS or application, you use the following tools to deploy your OS or application to a device. For more information, see Application Deployment.

Tool Use

BinCompress Tool

Compress or decompress run-time images for use with the x86 BIOS boot loader.

CAB Wizard

Package or update an application in a cabinet (.cab) file.

Cvrtbin Tool

Convert ROM files from binary (.bin) format to Motorola 32-bit (.sre) format or absolute binary (.abx) format.

Unldcmd Tool

Remove a program from a device. You use this tool for headless and primitive devices.

Unload Tool

Remove an application from a device by using a file that you generated from Wceload Tool.

Wceldcmd Tool

Install or remove a .cab file from a location that you specify. You use this tool for headless and primitive devices. .

Wceload Tool

Install a .cab file to a location that you select on the device.

Use these tools to create resource files so that end users can choose from multiple languages and keyboard layouts on their devices.

Tool Use

Createmui Tool

Create resource files for a multilingual UI (MUI), which allows an end user to change the language of the UI.

Keyboard Layout Generator Tool

Produce input language and device layout source files from a keyboard layout DLL.

Use these tools to help create your OS. For more information, see OS Development.

Tool Use

BinMod Tool

Extract files from a run-time image and optionally replace files in a run-time image.

CeBackup Tool

Backup and restore OS-specific .lib files that Microsoft provides.

Windows CE Splash Screen Generator

Simplify converting different types of graphic files into a compressed .bmx file that is used for splash screens in Windows Embedded Compact.


Create a stream driver subproject with various options that provides some tests for the driver.


Create a subproject that collects resources and copies them to the release directory when the subproject is built, as well as creating a catalog item for the subproject and its resources. 

Use these tools to help secure your applications and files.

Tool Use

Cabsigntool Tool

Sign a .cab file and all its executable content (.exe and .dll files) with the specified certificate(s).

Signcode Tool

Sign a portable executable (PE) file (.dll or .exe file) with an Authenticode digital signature. You can sign either an assembly or an individual file contained in a multiple file assembly.

Signtool Tool

Digitally sign files with an embedded signature, verify signatures in files, or timestamp files.