Resource Files (Visual Studio)

Note Note

This material applies to Win32-based desktop applications. For information about resources in Windows Store apps, see Defining App Resources.

For information on adding resources to managed projects, please see Resources in Applications in the .NET Framework Developer's Guide. 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.For information on manually adding resource files to managed projects, accessing resources, displaying static resources, and assigning resources strings to properties, see Walkthrough: Localizing Windows Forms and Walkthrough: Using Resources for Localization with ASP.NET.

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: