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Working with Resource Files


This section applies to Windows desktop applications written in C++.

For information about resources in Universal Windows Platform apps written in C++, see Defining App Resources, or on adding resources to C++/CLI (managed) projects, see Resources in Desktop Apps in the .NET Framework Developer's Guide.

Resources can be composed of a wide range of elements, like:

  • Interface elements that provide information to the user such as a bitmap, icon, or cursor.
  • Custom resources that contain data an application needs.
  • Version resources that are used by setup APIs.
  • Menu and dialog box resources.

You can add new resources to your project and modify those resources using the appropriate resource editor. Most Visual C++ wizards will automatically generate an .rc file for your project.


The Resource Editors and Resource View aren't available in Express editions.

To manually add resource files to managed projects, see Creating Resource Files for Desktop Apps. This article includes how to access resources, display static resources, and assign resource strings to properties.

To globalize and localize resources in managed apps, see Globalizing and Localizing .NET Framework Applications.

In This Section

Resource Files
Describes resource files and how they're used in Windows desktop applications. Also provides links to articles that describe how to use resource files.

Resource Identifiers (Symbols)
Describes symbols and provides information on using the Resource Symbols dialog box to manage symbols in your projects.

Resource Editors
Describes the resource editors provided in Visual Studio and the types of resources you can modify with each editor. Also provides links to detailed information on using each editor.

C++ in Visual Studio
Provides links into the Visual C++ documentation.

Talk to Us
Provides links to information on using the documentation set, contacting product support, and employing accessibility features.

See also

Menus and Other Resources