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ShowVer.exe command-line VERSIONINFO display program

, 18 Jun 2002
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A command-line program that interprets and displays VERSIONINFO resource values from a DLL or EXE.
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Did you ever wish for a way to quickly peek inside a mystery DLL to see who wrote it and what it does? If the DLL has version information built in, you could browse to the DLL file in Windows Explorer and then click through the items in the Version tab of the Properties context menu dialog for the file. That's kind of a nuisance for me, so I wrote this handy program, ShowVer.exe. ShowVer will show you all the version info at once.

The source code for ShowVer will also show you how to traverse the tree of information that a VERSIONINFO resource contains, bypassing the need to use the VerQueryValue Win32 API to retrieve individual strings based on a particular hard-coded key name and language/locale ID that you might be expecting to be present.

ShowVer.exe is a command-line program that displays the complete VERSIONINFO contents of a named file. It works on EXE's and DLL's. It is useful for 3 reasons:

  1. It shows all the version info from a file, in all its languages. It does this by interpreting the raw data structures that compose a VERSIONINFO resource. The Win32 APIs (VerQueryValue) will only show you a value from the VERSIONINFO resource if you ask for it by name.
  2. It allows you to name the file whose information you want to see. Often the file you want to examine resides in the System32 directory, which is crowded and unpleasant to browse through using Windows Explorer.
  3. It is a standalone command-line utility that operates on external files, unlike DLLVersion which is a tool you incorporate into a running process.

The source code to ShowVer demonstrates how to load (using GetFileVersionInfo and GetFileVersionInfoSize), parse and traverse the tree of pseudo-structures that make up a VERSIONINFO resource (VS_VERSIONINFO, String, StringTable, StringFileInfo, Var, VarFileInfo).

It will also display a hex dump of the raw VERSIONINFO resource block if you rebuild it with '#define HDUMP 1'. One interesting observation from the hex dump feature is that GetFileVersionInfo never seems to fill up the whole memory buffer that GetFileVersionInfoSize requests.

Here is sample output from ShowVer.exe:

N:\work\ShowVer\Debug>ShowVer w:\winnt\system32\mshtml.dll
VERSIONINFO for file "w:\winnt\system32\mshtml.dll":  (type:0)
  Signature:       feef04bd
  StrucVersion:    1.0
  FileVersion:     6.0.2600.0
  ProductVersion:  6.0.2600.0
  FileFlagsMask:   0x3f
  FileFlags:       0
  FileOS:          VOS_NT_WINDOWS32
  FileType:        VFT_DLL
  FileDate:        0.0
 LangID: 040904B0
  CompanyName       : Microsoft Corporation
  FileDescription   : Microsoft (R) HTML Viewer
  FileVersion       : 6.00.2600.0000
  InternalName      : MSHTML
  LegalCopyright    : ¬ Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
  OriginalFilename  : MSHTML.DLL
  ProductName       : Microsoft« Windows« Operating System
  ProductVersion    : 6.00.2600.0000
  OleSelfRegister   :
 Translation: 040904b0


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About the Author

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Ted Peck is a consultant with over 20 years' experience in software development and technical management. His company, Roundwave Development, specializes in designing GUI, network and database tools and systems.
Ted believes in thoughtful systems design with the aim of maximizing utility while minimizing complexity. If you're careful you can build software that's both powerful and easy to use.

Comments and Discussions

GeneralMy vote of 1 Pinmemberjamseyang11-Jul-14 1:00 
QuestionPrint Unicode [modified] Pinmemberacourier12-Apr-12 3:47 
GeneralResourceLib: same thing in C# with r/w PinmemberdB.8-Oct-08 13:27 
GeneralSee also sigcheck from sysinternals Pinmemberbrofield29-Jan-07 8:23 
GeneralRelayer's comment - A fix for this PinsussAnonymous29-Sep-05 16:52 
GeneralRe: Relayer's comment - A fix for this Pinmemberrelayer_delirium29-Sep-05 17:00 
GeneralUnderstanding the code Pinmemberlstoumbos7-Sep-05 6:09 
GeneralLoading ALL strings from my stringtable PinmemberAlex Evans4-May-05 16:05 
Hi there
How can I (using VC6 / MFC) load ALL strings from a stringtable, one-by-one, getting the IDS value as well as the actual text, for all strings in my program's stringtable?
Generaldebug assertion failed PinmemberKaren Amstutz13-Jul-04 12:03 
GeneralRe: debug assertion failed Pinmemberacourier12-Apr-12 2:56 
Generalincorrect search order Pinmemberrelayer_delirium9-Mar-04 16:37 
GeneralProblem vc to call VB form dll Pinmemberchi-yuchan@rocketmail.com1-Mar-04 0:26 
GeneralThis is exactly what i want, thanks. Pinmembert2di4u18-Dec-03 0:27 
Generaldoes not run in win9X PinsussHae Moon, Kwon25-Mar-03 16:12 
GeneralRe: does not run in win9X PinsussRenato Mauro14-Apr-03 23:06 
GeneralProblems PinmemberMike C19-Jun-02 9:17 
GeneralRe: Problems Pinmembertpeck1-Jul-02 18:51 
GeneralFile Date in VS_FIXEDFILEINFO PinmemberClaudius Mokler19-Jun-02 2:24 
GeneralRe: File Date in VS_FIXEDFILEINFO Pinmembertpeck1-Jul-02 19:08 
GeneralRe: File Date in VS_FIXEDFILEINFO Pinmembercasanova_n779-Feb-04 5:22 
GeneralRe: File Date in VS_FIXEDFILEINFO PinmemberDavidCrow3-Mar-04 7:03 

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