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Retrieving version information from your local application's resource

, 22 Oct 2004
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Sample code to retrieve version information from your local application

Sample Image - Version.gif


This application contains a small class supporting access to the version information stored in YOUR OWN Win32 application.


There is a lot code around the Internet, showing how easy it is to retrieve version information from any EXE or DLL. I never really liked the idea, opening my own application's file again (using GetFileVersionInfo()) simply to be able to access my local version data.

It took me quite some searching and other people's free source code to understand how this information may be retrieved from the local application's resource (equivalent to CString::LoadString() etc.).

Using the code

First of all: Be happy to use this code to your convenience and modify/enhance it as you like.

This is what you have to do 1. Add version.lib to your project's libraries 2. Add "#include <winver.h>" to your stdafx.h (could also be included to CGlobalFunctions.cpp instead) 3. Add GlobalFunctions.h and CGlobalFunctions.cpp to your project 4. Call any of the static functions from anywhere in your application


class CGlobalFunctions  : public CObject
    virtual ~CGlobalFunctions();
    static CString GetFileVersionX();
    static CString GetProductVersionX();
    static CString GetVersionInfo(HMODULE hLib, CString csEntry);
    static CString FormatVersion(CString cs);

    static CString m_csFileVersion;
    static CString m_csProductVersion;

GlobalFunctions.cpp: (see source code for more detailed description of the methods)

String CGlobalFunctions::m_csFileVersion;
CString CGlobalFunctions::m_csProductVersion;




// This is the key method
CString CGlobalFunctions::GetVersionInfo(HMODULE hLib, CString csEntry)
  CString csRet;

  if (hLib == NULL)
    hLib = AfxGetResourceHandle();
  HRSRC hVersion = FindResource( hLib, 
  if (hVersion != NULL)
    HGLOBAL hGlobal = LoadResource( hLib, hVersion ); 
    if ( hGlobal != NULL)  
      LPVOID versionInfo  = LockResource(hGlobal);  
      if (versionInfo != NULL)
        DWORD vLen,langD;
        BOOL retVal;    
        LPVOID retbuf=NULL;
        static char fileEntry[256];

        retVal = VerQueryValue(versionInfo,fileEntry,&retbuf,(UINT *)&vLen);
        if (retVal && vLen==4) 
          sprintf(fileEntry, "\\StringFileInfo\\%02X%02X%02X%02X\\%s",
                  (langD & 0xff00)>>8,langD & 0xff,(langD & 0xff000000)>>24, 
                  (langD & 0xff0000)>>16, csEntry);            
          sprintf(fileEntry, "\\StringFileInfo\\%04X04B0\\%s", 
            GetUserDefaultLangID(), csEntry);

        if (VerQueryValue(versionInfo,fileEntry,&retbuf,(UINT *)&vLen)) 
          csRet = (char*)retbuf;

    UnlockResource( hGlobal );  
    FreeResource( hGlobal );  

  return csRet;

// Re-formats a string formatted as "m,n,o,p" to format as "m.nop"
CString CGlobalFunctions::FormatVersion(CString cs)
  CString csRet;
  if (!cs.IsEmpty())
    int iPos = cs.Find(',');
    if (iPos == -1)
      return "";
    csRet.Format("%s.", cs.Left(iPos));

    while (1)
      cs = cs.Mid(iPos + 1);
      iPos = cs.Find(',');
      if (iPos == -1)
        csRet +=cs;
      csRet += cs.Left(iPos);

  return csRet;

// Loads "FileVersion" from resource formats it and keeps it in mind
CString CGlobalFunctions::GetFileVersionX()
  if (m_csFileVersion.IsEmpty())
    CString csVersion = FormatVersion(GetVersionInfo(NULL, "FileVersion"));
    m_csFileVersion.Format("Version %s (Build %s)", 
      csVersion, GetVersionInfo(NULL, "SpecialBuild"));

  return m_csFileVersion;

// Loads "ProductVersion" from resource formats it and keeps it in mind
CString CGlobalFunctions::GetProductVersionX()
  if (m_csProductVersion.IsEmpty())
    m_csProductVersion = FormatVersion(GetVersionInfo(NULL, "ProductVersion"));

  return m_csProductVersion;

Using it anywhere in the application: (e.g. in CGetVersionApp::InitInstance())

  CString cs;
  cs.Format("FileVersion: %s\nProductVersion: %s\nMyPrivateInfo: %s", 
             CGlobalFunctions::GetVersionInfo(NULL, "MyPrivateInfo"));

Points of Interest

Well, if you take a close look (while debuging) at fileEntry your will notify it's containig "\StringFileInfo\040704B0\ProductVersion". Compare this path with the structure of Version in the *.rc-file. This makes clear how the access of the version information works:


    BLOCK "StringFileInfo"
        BLOCK "040704b0"
            VALUE "Comments", "\0"
            VALUE "CompanyName", "\0"
            VALUE "FileDescription", "MFC-Anwendung GetVersion\0"
            VALUE "FileVersion", "1, 2, 3, a\0"
            VALUE "InternalName", "GetVersion\0"
            VALUE "LegalCopyright", "Copyright (C) 2004\0"
            VALUE "LegalTrademarks", "\0"
            VALUE "OriginalFilename", "GetVersion.EXE\0"
            VALUE "PrivateBuild", "\0"
            VALUE "ProductName", "Anwendung GetVersion\0"
            VALUE "ProductVersion", "1, 0, 0, a\0"
            VALUE "SpecialBuild", "2\0"
            VALUE "MyPrivateInfo", 
              "This is an privately defined version information\0"
    BLOCK "VarFileInfo"
        VALUE "Translation", 0x407, 1200

NOTE: I have extended the version information structure by an own entry ("MyPrivateInfo"). You may retrieve this information in the same way as you can using all the predefined entries.

List of predefined entries within the version information structure: Comments CompanyName FileDescription FileVersion InternalName LegalCopyright LegalTrademarks OriginalFilename PrivateBuild ProductName ProductVersion SpecialBuild

Further recommendation

As you know from Microsoft products, beside the version information they specify a build code e.g. (Build 1376). There is a free add-in for Visual C++ that automatically increments the "SpecialBuild" entry within your *.rc file. It has been developed by Mihai Filimon and is called IncPrivateBuild. Click here for more information. It comes with the source code an is a really cool tool.

Cheers and enjoy this code, Hartmut


This article has no explicit license attached to it but may contain usage terms in the article text or the download files themselves. If in doubt please contact the author via the discussion board below.

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Comments and Discussions

AnswerGPF is due to resource locking PinmemberUSchmitt27-Mar-13 21:50 
QuestionAnother codes to get file version. Pinmembercigarhuang20-Aug-12 4:15 
AnswerRe: Another codes to get file version. PinmemberAndrew Phillips29-Aug-12 15:52 
Bugthis code crashes, use one from msdn instead PinmemberDmitriy Bryndin12-Apr-12 15:12 
GeneralRe: this code crashes, use one from msdn instead PinmemberMember 861328811-May-12 2:10 
BugVerQueryInfo writes to the pointer Pinmemberkjhsdfksdhfjkds11-Dec-11 9:43 
GeneralCode doesn't compile for Unicode apps. PinmemberArfa24-Nov-10 4:43 
News.NET Version for the same PinmemberdB.30-Jun-08 9:55 
GeneralWrong method to get the version info that generates Access violation Pinmemberalegall66613-Mar-08 4:33 
GeneralThanks a lot Pinmember723Alex22-May-07 8:19 
GeneralAccess Violation:: Pinmemberzwu_ca15-May-07 15:12 
GeneralRe: Access Violation:: Pinmemberluetz15-May-07 21:53 
GeneralRe: Access Violation:: PinmemberKaniSDragon19-Oct-07 20:45 
GeneralThanks! Pinmemberentec_nhan2-May-07 19:09 
GeneralRe: Thanks! Pinmemberluetz15-May-07 22:03 
GeneralVerQueryValue fails Pinmemberrumblef23-Jun-05 6:29 
GeneralAdd the logic of removing trailing zeros from version in FormatVersion Pinmembersonawane ajay7-Mar-05 21:39 
GeneralRe: Add the logic of removing trailing zeros from version in FormatVersion Pinmembert0671dl20-Jun-05 6:43 
GeneralRe: Add the logic of removing trailing zeros from version in FormatVersion Pinmembersonawane ajay20-Jun-05 19:37 
GeneralWow! Pinsuss309DA944-69E5-4f18-9E33-56D805BE5BD113-Jan-05 10:05 
GeneralMemory Fault Pinmembercoferm28-Oct-04 6:39 
GeneralRe: Memory Fault Pinmemberfazorin2-Nov-04 1:27 
GeneralNice PinmemberJiju George T27-Oct-04 16:01 
GeneralThanks for the code! PinmemberRolando E. Cruz-Marshall26-Oct-04 3:40 

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